WRC Mexico Mar 4-7,2010 talk/results spoiler**
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This is a discussion on WRC Mexico Mar 4-7,2010 talk/results spoiler** within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Next Round: WRC Mexico - March 4-7, 2010 Official Website: rallymexico.com/home ---------------------------------------------------- After a freezing start on the snowy roads ...

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    Cool WRC Mexico Mar 4-7,2010 talk/results spoiler**

    Next Round: WRC Mexico - March 4-7, 2010



    Official Website: rallymexico.com/home

    ----------------------------------------------------
    After a freezing start on the snowy roads of Sweden, the FIA World Rally Championship heads to the heat and dust of Rally Mexico for round two - the only WRC event on the American continent this year.

    Based in the city of Leon, 400km north-west of Mexico City, the rally made its debut on the WRC calendar in 2004 and returns after a year's absence in 2009. Always a popular event with the fanatical Mexican rally fans, this year's edition comes with extra cause for celebration as the country marks the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution and the 200th anniversary of its independence.

    The event features a compact series of well-organised, high-speed gravel stages through the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato mountains and plains around the cities of Guanajuato and Leon.

    Stages are generally fast and flowing, on roads largely made of hard-packed gravel. March is the dry season in Mexico which means the road surface is expected to be dry, loose and sandy in places.

    Rally Mexico is the highest round in the series. Most stages are over 2000m above sea level and the roads on the opening day climb to more than 2700m on hillsides dotted with cacti and river crossings. But while the altitude may be breathtaking for the spectators, the thinner air is doing the same to the engines of the rally cars, which can lose up to 30 per cent of their usual power.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/=Mexico

    --------------------------------------------------
    PWRC

    The forthcoming Rally Mexico will host a clash of the titans in the Production Car World Rally Championship category, with former double champion Toshi Arai taking on defending title holder Armindo Araujo for the first time this season.
    Araujo kicked off the defence of his 2009 FIA title earlier this month, when a podium in Rally Sweden put him third in the 2010 standings on 15 points. Arai, however, didn't nominate the snow and ice round as part of his own six-rally programme, electing instead to get his season underway on the high altitude gravel stages in the Mexican State of Guanajuato.

    Click: wrc.com/pwrc/mexico

    --------------------------------------------------
    SWRC

    Rally Mexico counts as the second round of the FIA's inaugural championship for Super 2000 cars and marks the start of campaigns from several drivers tipped to win this year's title.

    Topping the list of new arrivals is 2006 Production Car World Rally Champion, Nasser Al-Attiyah. A long time Subaru driver, Al-Attiyah, from Qatar, won January's Qatar International Rally at the wheel of a Fiesta S2000 and had been expected to use the same car in his S-WRC campaign.

    Two weeks ago, however, having secured backing from the Volkswagen Group, he switched to a Skoda Fabia S2000. The car will be run by the Rene Georges team, which also runs a similar car for Eyvind Brynildsen.

    Click: wrc.com/swrc/mexico

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    Arai crashes during pre-Mexico test
    The second round of the FIA World Rally Championship will officially get underway on Thursday evening, but there was drama even before the recce began for Japanís Toshi Arai and his new British co-driver Daniel Barritt.

    The pair, expected to be front-runners in the P-WRC competition, were carrying out a test with their Subaru Impreza on Monday and completed one pass of the gravel road - at an altitude of around 2000 metres above sea level - without any problems.

    Arai's new co-driver Barritt later complained that there had been some interference in the intercom system, but the Japanese launched the Subaru into a high-speed roll on the second pass through the stage.

    Arai and Barritt escaped injury but their car sustained damage to its front-end and roof and the test was abandoned. Arai's car was taken to a garage in Leon for emergency repairs and was returned on Tuesday afternoon. Subject to a satisfactory scrutineers' inspection, Arai is expected to start the rally on schedule.

    Crews will be conclude complete their reconnaissance of the 22 gravel special stages on Wednesday, before the official shakedown and pre-event press conference take place on Thursday.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=Arai+crashes+during+pre-Mexico+test

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    After a frustrating time on the opening round of the World Rally Championship in Sweden, Citroen privateer Petter Solberg is the early pace-setter in Mexico, setting the fastest time at today's pre-rally Shakedown in his C4 WRC.

    But while Solberg was all smiles at the end of the session, a number of other WRC competitors were left with damaged cars as a result of an extremely steep water splash.

    Today's four-hour test took place on the same 5.13km piece of road used in 2008, located in the San Juan de Otates region, 15km from the Service Park in Leon. Weather conditions were dry and sunny throughout with the temperature peaking at 26 degrees Celsius.

    Solberg, who took his last WRC rally victory on this event in 2005, made five passes through the stage in his C4 WRC, setting his best time of 2min 51.7sec on his final attempt. Returning to the Service Park, the former World Champion told wrc.com he was happier with the set-up of his car than he had been before Sweden.

    "I still don't have a clue why things went so badly for me in Sweden, but the car didn't feel quite right at shakedown," he said. "There was so much gravel on the Swedish shakedown that I didn't really push the car too much. Today, the feeling was much better. We tested last week and the set-up we have settled on feels good."

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/Rally+Mexico+Shakedown

    Shakedown times of the leading WRC drivers:
    1. P. SOLBERG. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:51.7
    2. SORDO. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:51.8
    3. OGIER. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:51.9
    4. LOEB. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:52.5
    5. RAIKKONEN. Citroen C4 WRC. 2:54.2
    6. HIRVONEN. Ford Focus RS WRC 09. 2:55.3
    7. H.SOLBERG. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:56.2
    8. VILLAGRA. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:56.4
    9. WILSON. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 2:59.9
    10. LATVALA. Ford Focus RS WRC 09. 3:00.1
    11. BLOCK. Ford Focus RS WRC 08. 3:04.6

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    Rally organisers cancel SS20
    The organisers of Rally Mexico have cancelled one of Sunday's four stages on safety grounds.
    The 7.05km Sauz Seco was the shortest gravel stage of the rally and had been scheduled to run at 0934hrs as the middle of the morning's loop of three stages.
    The only brand new stage in this year's event, Sauz Seco featured a steep descent with multiple downhill hairpin corners and steep drops by the roadside.
    Event officials were expecting thousands of spectators to visit the stage on Sunday.
    The rest of Sunday's competition will run according to the original timetable.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/=Rally+organisers+cancel+SS20

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    SS1 Alfaro 1





    After setting the fastest time on Thursday's pre-event shakedown, Citroen privateer Petter Solberg was the pace-setter once again on the opening stage of the rally proper - capitalising on an advantageous road position to open up a 9.8sec rally lead after SS1.
    The rally's first day dawned clear and dry. And from 0700hrs, as the sun rose over Leon, crews filed out of the Service Park in a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. By mid afternoon the temperature is expected to nudge 26 degrees. Rally Mexico features the most compact route of the season and the opening stage, Alfaro, was only a short 9km drive away to the east of the city.
    First to complete was Mikko Hirvonen who, as World Championship leader, had the dubious honour of being first in Friday's start order and facing the worst of the loose gravel covered roads.
    Arriving at the stop control with the rear bumper missing from his Ford Focus World Rally Car, Hirvonen was disappointed with his opening performance. "Itís hard to say how bad the road cleaning effect is, but my driving was really bad," he said. "The stage started well, but there was a lot of loose stuff. It was very slippery. Itís a really bad start." Hirvonen's time was the sixth fastest.
    Running at three minute intervals, defending champion Sebastien Loeb was the next WRC driver through in his Citroen Total team C4 WRC. "It was okay I started to lose time in the first part because of the dust, then it was clean and no problem. I tried to find good rhythm. For sure Mikko's cleaning a line [on the stage] but I can't follow it all the time. A good drive though, I think."
    Third though was Jari-Matti Latvala who, like his Ford team-mate, was dissatisfied with his driving. "The car feels okay but I didn't get the rhythm. That's it. I'm not worried yet though; we have a lot of stages to go."

    Click: wrc.com/Petter+storms+into+an+early+lead

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    SS2 Ortega 1





    Citroen privateer Petter Solberg extended his lead of Rally Mexico on Friday's second stage, increasing his advantage over second placed Sebastien Ogier to 14.4sec.
    Measuring 23.83 kilometres, Friday's second stage, Ortega, is the longest of the day and the highest of the rally - reaching an altitude of 2,737 metres above sea level.
    Solberg and Citroen Junior team driver Ogier were the two fastest drivers through in almost identical C4 World Rally Cars, with Solberg completing 4.6sec quicker.
    After hitting a rock on the previous stage, Citroen Junior Team driver Kimi Raikkonen had a more serious problem on SS2 which brought his C4 WRC to a halt four kilometres from the start line.

    Raikkonen stopped after two large jumps, but the Citroen team said early indications were that a mechanical problem was to blame.
    Raikkon and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom are working on the car and more information is expected soon.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/Solberg+fastest+again+while+Raikkonen+hits+problem s

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    SS3 El Cubliete 1



    .
    --------------------------------------------------------

    SS4 Coca-Cola Street Stage 1






    SS4: Solberg out in front at Friday's halfway point
    As crews returned to Leon for Friday's midpoint service, Petter Solberg holds a commanding lead of Rally Mexico, with a 17.1sec advantage over the man in second place, Sebastien Ogier.

    As expected, road positions on this morning's dry and dusty stages proved critical to success, with Solberg and Ogier capitalising on their respective positions of fifth and eighth and befitting from a racing line swept of loose gravel by the cars ahead.

    Driving similar Citroen C4 World Rally Cars, Solberg and Ogier were first and second fastest on each of the three countryside stages run so far and head a Citroen 1-2-3-4 in the overall standings ahead of Citroen's two factory team drivers Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo.

    "It's very good and a lot of fun to have started like this," said Solberg. "Okay, the road is cleaning, but on some of the stages you don't gain that much. Either way it's not bad, we will see this afternoon what we do. For the moment I'm feeling very comfortable and the car works well."

    Ogier, who won the J-WRC class in Mexico in 2008 felt positive about his morning's work. "It’s a good start," said the Citroen Junior team driver. "Generally the car has felt good on the stages, but on SS3 the rear was sliding around a lot, it felt like a puncture, but it turned out to be okay."

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/News=SS4

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    S-WRC: Kosciuszko leads the Super 2000 category
    Former Junior World Championship front-runner Michal Kosciuszko heads the Super 2000 category of Rally Mexico at Friday's midpoint.

    The Pole, tackling his first WRC event in a Ford Fiesta S2000, heads reigning J-WRC champion Martin Prokop, also in a Fiesta, by 18 seconds.

    Kosciuszko was the fastest S-WRC driver on three of Friday's four stages, only losing out to his closest rival Prokop on SS2.

    "It’s going really nicely," said Kosciuszko. "The stages are not terrible, just a bit slippery in places, and my pace notes have been spot on so far. I'm not taking any risks. In fact I took things a little too carefully on the second stage when I slowed down far too much for a river crossing. I'm getting used to the car - that's the main priority. We only did a 40km test here on Monday - so everything is new for me."

    Prokop meanwhile was relived to get his car back to service at all after a problematic morning. "We hit a speed bump very hard on SS3 and I think that ruptured something in the fuel system," he explained. "There was a very strong smell of petrol in the car. Then we hit another bump or a rock later on and perhaps that sealed the hole again - I'm not sure how but we got back here. The car has taken a battering, though, so my mechanics have some work to do."

    Less than a second behind Prokop, Xevi Pons holds third place after a solid morning at the wheel of his Fiesta S2000.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SWRC


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    SS5 Alfaro 2




    SS5: Petter stretches ahead



    After a 30-minute service in Leon, crews headed to the hills north-east of the city for the repeat loop of the morning's three gravel speed tests - each of which had been swept of the worst of the loose gravel on the earlier pass.

    Once again Petter Solberg was the pace-setter, taking his fourth stage win of the day, despite a small off-road excursion. "Itís very good time but it could have been better because we lost four or five seconds when we went off the road a bit. Apart from that everything was good, things are coming together well," he said.

    Petter's time of 13min 56.1sec was more than nine seconds quicker than his earlier pass on SS1. Like before, Solberg's closest rival though the stage was Sebastien Ogier - the Frenchman completing SS5 2.6seconds slower. "The feeling is perfect," he said. For the time being we will continue to push - then we'll see later."

    Also pushing hard was Sebastien Loeb, the defending champion setting the third fastest time to remain 29.2 seconds adrift of Solberg in the overall standings. "I was flat out all the stage so it was a really good drive," said Loeb. Maybe the road is cleaning again, and perhaps Mikko is losing with that, I don't know, but I'm happy with my stage."
    Hirvonen maintained sixth place overall, but dropped more than a minute behind Solberg's lead for the first time. "Compared to this morning the grip is more consistent now, so itís easier, but we're still losing a lot of time, so overall it's not going well," said Hirvonen. "Iíll continue to try and go as fast as I can, but if the boys are getting away from me there's not much more I can do."

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS5

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    It would be so cool to see Petter win this thing. Hope he has mudflaps on!
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    SS6 Ortega 2



    SS6: No let up for Solberg
    The repeated Ortega stage was the last opportunity for drivers to make a big impression on the time sheets before Saturday's road order is settled on the El Cubilete test (SS7) which follows.
    Whether Petter Solberg will want to carry his lead into Saturday's competition will become clear then, but on SS6 he kept his foot down, taking another stage win at the wheel of his Citroen C4 WRC to pull 20.7sec ahead of his nearest rival, Sebastien Ogier, who holds second.
    Sebastien Loeb set the third fastest time on the stage, with Jari-Matti Latvala fourth and Dani Sordo rounding off the top five.

    The only change in the top ten concerned Federico Villagra who moved ahead of Ken Block into ninth place.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS6

    .-------------------------------------------------------------

    SS7 El Cubliete 2




    SS7: No tactics - Solberg keeps his lead
    With a low position in the start order likely to be a huge help on Saturday's ultra slippery roads, drivers were faced with a choice on the decisive SS7 - either keep their positions on the leaderboard, or drop time deliberately in order to get a better place in the day two running order.

    In the event, all of the WRC drivers played things straight, with no tactics brought into play at all - even from the man with the most to lose, rally leader Petter Solberg.

    Crossing the line in the third fastest time, Solberg surprised many with his choice not to drop back a place or two, but was adamant it was his preferred option. "No tactics, I had no reason to do it, you know? I'm here to drive, and drive as fast as possible. We'll see the results at the last day and that's it," he said.

    "I took it a bit easy in this stage (SS7) because I went off here on the earlier pass. So I lost a bit here, but that's okay. I don't know about tomorrow. We'll just have to try and that's it. I have no plan or strategy I just want to get back on the top again. I'm happy to be first tonight and first on the road tomorrow. No problem. I’ll take it as it comes," he added.

    The stage was won by Citroen Junior Team driver Sebastien Ogier, who will run second through Saturday's stages. Sebastien Loeb set the third fastest time on the stage and will run third on the road on Saturday.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS7

    .


    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Raikkonen Out !



    Citroen Junior Team driver Kimi Raikkonen rolled his Citroen C4 World Rally Car out of Friday's competition almost within sight of the end of SS7 - the repeated El Cubilete stage.
    The accident happened 17.5km into the 18.87km stage, on a downhill section littered with hairpin corners.

    Eyewitnesses report seeing the car roll off the road at high speed, before coming to rest at the bottom of a bank. Both Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom are out of the car and are reported to be okay.

    The incident brought an end to an up and down day for the Finn. After losing more than half an hour with an electrical problem on SS2, he set a string of top 10 stage times, including seventh fastest on SS3 and fifth fastest on the asphalt sprint stage, SS4.

    A decision regarding Kimi's return as a Super Rally entrant on Saturday will be made later tonight when the car is recovered to the Service Park.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=Raikkonen

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    SS8 Super Special 1



    ----------------------------------------------

    End of Day 1

    SS9 Super Special 2







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    --------------------------------------------------------
    Results posted late as I was at the Malcolm Wilson Stages Rally
    malcolmwilson.co.uk/

    --------------------------------------------------------

    Day 2



    SS10


    SS10: Carnage on Saturday's opener
    Like Friday, the rally's second day dawned clear and dry and from 0700hrs, as the sun rose over Leon, crews filed out of the Service Park to head to the first of three gravel tests in the hills north and east of Leon.

    Saturday's opening stage, Ibarilla, was the longest of the rally at 29.90km and also proved to be the most dramatic of the event so far - bringing about the retirement of three top 10 drivers.

    Citroen Total team driver Dani Sordo was the first to go. The Spaniard, in fourth place overnight, damaged his C4 WRC after hitting something in the road. He stopped at the 22.9km point.

    Soon after, Stobart Ford driver Matthew Wilson went off the road at a left-hand corner two kilometres before the finish. Wilson's Focus came to rest beached in a ditch with three wheels off the ground.

    Monster World Rally Team driver Ken Block was the stage's third victim. The American stopped on a hairpin corner 23.67km from the start, his Ford Focus brought to a halt by broken suspension.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS10

    ------------------------------------------------
    SS11






    SS11: Loeb moves into the lead
    Sebastien Loeb, the man with three Rally Mexico wins under his belt, moved into the lead of this year's event on Saturday's second stage.

    The Citroen Total team driver set a remarkable pace through the 23.27km Duarte, completing it 16.7 seconds quicker than rally leader Petter Solberg.

    After taking a similar margin on Saturday's opening stage, Loeb leapt ahead of the Norwegian into a rally lead of 5.2sec.

    Loeb's closest rival through the stage was Stobart Ford Team driver Henning Solberg who found his best form of the event so far. After reporting a brake problem on SS10, the Norwegian stopped the clock just 3.8sec slower than Loeb.

    BP Ford Abu Dhabi team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen were third and fourth fastest - each 10 seconds slower than Loeb.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS11

    ------------------------------------------------
    SS12





    SS12: Loeb heads a Citroen 1-2-3 at Saturday's midpoint
    With only the 1.5km sprint stage to run before midday service, Citroen C4 WRC driver Sebastien Loeb has been the class of the Rally Mexico field so far today.

    Starting the day third, 27.5seconds off the lead, the Frenchman won each of the morning's three countryside stages to return to Leon in first place, 16.6 seconds ahead of overnight leader Petter Solberg.

    Running third through Saturday's loose gravel stages, Loeb benefited from a cleaner racing line than Solberg and Ogier ahead - especially on SS10 and SS11. "I have the lead now and I'll try to increase it but it's not easy - this one didn't clean as much as the others so it was hard to make a difference," Loeb said at the end of SS12.

    "It was a good drive, with just a few little mistakes. I was on the limit at times. I will try to continue to increase the lead on the second passes but maybe I wonít be able to make as much of a difference. Iíll try," he added.

    Running first through today's stages, Citroen privateer Petter Solberg, also driving a C4 WRC, put a brave face on his time loss throughout the morning. "The first stage was very good actually, and on the second we didn't lose as much time as we'd expected to, but the third was very loose," he said. "It was difficult to push because it was so slippery. First on the road isn't easy but I know what I am doing. Now it will be interesting to see what happens this afternoon."

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS12

    ------------------------------------------------
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    SS13


    Ibarrilla post mortem
    Citroen and Ford team bosses explain what went wrong on this morning's giant killing stage:

    Citroen Racing director Olivier Quesnel on Dani Sordo:
    "He made a mistake; he went off and broke a [suspension] wishbone so the car stopped. He will be back again in SuperRally tomorrow. Everything was going well for the team, and for Dani, and if he didn't do this mistake it would still be very fine. Honestly, I'm disappointed. But this is it."

    BP Ford Abu Dhabi Team principal Malcolm Wilson on Matthew Wilson:
    "He got onto some loose gravel under braking and went off the road onto some rocks. He thought about putting it sideways with the handbrake, but the rocks were so big he was thought that might have broken the rear suspension. So instead he went straight on. The car got beached on the rocks and he couldn't get it off. He'll be back again tomorrow with SuperRally."

    ...and on Ken Block:
    "Ken did a similar sort of thing to Matthew - he lost the grip under braking. But Ken went into a rock face and had a very, very big impact which broke all the suspension and smashed a wheel. It sounds like the rock face stopped him from going all the way off. We've got the car back now, and while there's quite a bit of damage, he should be out again tomorrow."

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=postmortem

    -------------------------------------------------------
    SS14


    SS14: Loeb works on his Sunday head start
    Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb almost doubled his lead of Rally Mexico on SS14, the first of Saturday's repeated stages, and hopes to build enough of an advantage today to counteract the effect of running first on the road on Sunday.

    At the pre-stage service Loeb declined to say how much of a lead would be enough to overcome being first through Sunday's loose gravel stages, but at the end of the repeated Ibarrilla stage, he said he was on course to have enough.

    "I like this stage and again it went very well for me," acknowledged Loeb. "The car is running perfectly so I tried to push on the limit. Being first on the road tomorrow will be difficult so I'm doing everything I can. I don't know our plan for tonight yet; I’ll do what I can this afternoon before we decide. But if I carry on like that it should be enough for tomorrow."

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS14

    -------------------------------------------------------
    SS15


    S-WRC: Prokop out front in Super 2000 class
    Czech Republic driver Martin Prokop leads Rally Mexico's S-WRC category at Saturday's midpoint after mechanical problems slowed overnight leader Xevi Pons.

    Things started well today for Ford Fiesta S2000 driver Pons, who began Saturday's competition with an eight second lead over Prokop - also in a Ford.

    On SS10 the Spaniard stretched his lead to 22.9sec, but it all went wrong two kilometres into the next stage, when a clutch problem cost him more than 40sec and dropped him behind Prokop in the S-WRC standings.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SWRC

    -------------------------------------------------------



    SS15: Solberg back up to second
    While rally leader Sebastien Loeb proved untouchable once again through the repeated Duarte stage (SS15), the battle between Petter Solberg and Sebastien Ogier for second raged on, with Solberg edging back ahead of his French rival.
    Citroen C4 WRC driver Loeb maintained his 100 per cent record of Saturday stage wins on SS15, completing it in 17min 44.9sec - more than 25seconds quicker than his morning pass.

    The result bumped Loeb's lead up to 48.7sec ahead of the Derramadero stage, which determines Sunday's start order.
    Solberg, meanwhile, was 2.7sec quicker than Ogier though SS15, to move into a slender 1.1sec advantage in the overall standings.
    BP Ford Abu Dhabi Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen set the second and third fastest times respectively.

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS15

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Last edited by Weasel 555; 03-06-2010 at 01:57 PM.
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    SS16


    -----------------------------------------------

    SS17



    -----------------------------------------------

    SS18



    -----------------------------------------------



    Loeb takes a 55 second lead into Rally Mexico's final day
    Six-times World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb will take an 55.5sec lead into Sunday's third and final day of Rally Mexico after a dominating performance today during which he won eight of nine Special Stages.

    The Citroen C4 WRC driver began today's competition in third place but attacked hard from the off, making the most of an advantageous road position to spring into the lead by the second stage.

    From then on he pulled further ahead with every stage, eventually building a cushion he believes will be sufficient to counteract the disadvantage of running first on the road through the remaining 51.49 kilometres of stage distance.

    "It was a perfect day," said Loeb. "No mistakes, I was on the limit all the time, trying to increase my lead. Now we have more than 50 seconds it should be perfect, but we have to stay on the road and avoid any mistakes. That's the plan."

    Petter Solberg, also driving a Citroen C4 WRC, is second. Despite a trouble-free run today the Norwegian, who heads his own rally team, was unable to hold onto his Friday night lead because of running first through today's slippery gravel stages.

    "Even the second time through it's been very, very slippery but I still think we're doing well," he said. "Yes, Loeb has taken a lot of time but we will see tomorrow how we do. I've been trying different things with the car today, some small details here and there and it feels good. Itís good to drive near the front, and to be able to learn how that feels again, you know?"

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=Loeb_leads_into_final_day

    .
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    Day 3

    SS19






    SS19: Ogier heads Solberg in fight for second
    With Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb carrying a lead of almost one minute into today's final day of Rally Mexico, all eyes were on the thrilling battle for second starring two more Citroen C4 WRC drivers, Petter Solberg and Sebastien Ogier.

    And on Sunday's opener it was Ogier who was fastest - moving ahead of Solberg in the overall standings by a slender margin of 1.4 seconds.

    Clear skies and sunshine greeted competitors as they departed the rally base in Leon this morning for the short drive north to the opening Guanajuatito stage. Measuring 29.13 kilometres, the stage accounted for more than half of Sunday's competitive distance.
    Running behind Loeb though the slippery gravel road, Solberg lost his overnight second position with a stage time 4.1sec slower than Ogier's. "It was very loose and I chose a slightly harder set of springs this morning - hopefully things will be better on the next stage," he said. "It was slippery and I tried to be neat but I made a small mistake in the last corner. Okay, there are still 17 [gravel] kilometres to go. Third place would be important for us but I haven't given up on second just yet!"

    Second place for Ogier would match his previous best in a WRC rally - which he took in the Acropolis Rally last year. "I think it will be a fight until the end but I don't want to take too many risks," said the Frenchman. "Moving up to second is good but it’s not finished."

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS19

    ..-------------------------------------------

    SS20 Sauz Seco
    Cancelled by organisers on safety grounds.


    .-------------------------------------------

    SS21



    SS21: Fastest time for Petter sets up final stage thriller!
    A fastest time for Citroen privateer Petter Solberg on Rally Mexico's penultimate stage put him firmly back in the fight with Sebastien Ogier for second place - a scrap which will be settled on the final 4.42km Super Special.

    Solberg completed the 17km Comanjilla 0.8sec quicker than Ogier, to trail the Frenchman by just six-tenths going into the decisive head-to-head test.

    "If he beats me here he deserves to win - I was driving on the door handles!" Solberg said at the stage end. "I'm very happy with what I did here. When I can attack like this it's an incredible feeling."

    Fellow Citroen C4 WRC driver Ogier said: "It’s a big, big fight. We did a good stage before this, now I have to stay concentrated and do one more! "

    Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=SS21

    .
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 03-07-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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    End of Day 3

    SS22




    Sebastien Loeb wins Rally Mexico!
    Citroen C4 WRC driver Sebastien Loeb sealed a crushing victory on Rally Mexico today, round two of the 2010 World Rally Championship, to leap into the lead of the FIA Drivers' standings.
    Loeb, the defending and six-times World Champion built up a massive lead of almost a minute during Saturday's competition, and cruised through Sunday's three stages to finish 24.2sec ahead of Petter Solberg who claimed a sensational second place in another Citroen C4 WRC.

    Today's win was the 55th at World Championship level for Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena and was the pair's fourth consecutive success on Rally Mexico. After finishing runner-up to his Ford rival Mikko Hirvonen on the series' opening round in Sweden, it springs the Frenchman six points clear at the top of the drivers' standings.

    After losing out to Solberg in a last stage showdown, Citroen Junior Team driver Sebastien Ogier finished Rally Mexico in third place in his C4 WRC, just 1.1sec behind Petter.

    One minute 22 seconds behind the winning trio of Citroens, BP Ford Abu Dhabi Team driver Hirvonen was fourth, in the first Ford Focus RS WRC. His team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala rounded off the top five positions.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Championship Standings
    wrc.com/jsp/season=2010

    ..---------------------------------------------

    Next Round: WRC Jordan April 1-3, 2010



    Official Website: jordanrally.com/wrc_2010/

    .
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 03-27-2010 at 04:42 AM.
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