Len - Five-time world champion Sebastien Ogier won the Rally
of Mexico on Sunday to retake the championship lead from Belgium's Thierry
Ogier is now nine points clear at the top of the standings
from Neuville, who finished sixth over the weekend, more than nine minutes
Spain's Dani Sordo came second, 1min 13sec behind, with
Britain's Kris Meeke third in a Citroen.
Ogier had to work hard to claim his second victory of the
season - he also won the Monte-Carly Rally in January - having flirted with
disaster when avoiding a dead dog on Saturday.
"There was a dead dog, and another that seemed to be
watching over him. I had to break sharply and ended up half in the ditch to
avoid them," the Ford Fiesta driver recounted.
After securing his fourth victory in Mexico, he said:
"Our chances were slim but we never gave up and it's a great performance.
Ogier took the lead after stage 14 on Saturday when his
compatriot Sebastien Loeb saw his hopes deflated by a puncture. The ace from
Alsace was forced to get out of his car to change the front left tyre.
Loeb, a nine-time former champion, is competing in three
legs of the 2018 championship. He finished the weekend in fifth position.
Norway's Andreas Mikkelsen was fourth and is now third in
the overall standings.
Final Rally of Mexico results on Sunday:
1. Sbastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (FRA/Ford Fiesta RS) 3hr 53min 58sec, 2. Dani Sordo-Carlos del Barrio (ESP/Hyundai i20) at 1min 13.6sec, 3. Kris Meeke-Paul Nagle (GBR-IRL/Citron C3) 1:29.2, 4. Andreas Mikkelsen-Anders Jaeger (NOR/Hyundai i20) 1:48.4, 5. Sbastien Loeb-Daniel Elena (FRA-MON/Citron C3) 2:34.6, 6. Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/Hyundai i20) 9:13.0, 7. Pontus Tideman-Jonas Andersson (SWE/Skoda Fabia R5) 10:34.7, 8. Jari-Matti Latvala-Miikka Anttila (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 15:47.1
Special stage winners
Neuville (SS1), Meeke (SS2, SS6, SS12, SS18), Sordo (SS3, SS4, SS17), Suninen (SS5), Loeb (SS7, SS8, SS11), Tnak (SS9, SS21, SS22), Ogier (SS10, SS13, SS14, SS15, SS16), Mikkelsen (SS19), Latvala (SS20)
1. Sbastien Ogier (FRA/Ford Fiesta) 60 pts, 2. Thierry Neuville (BEL/Hyundai i20) 51, 3. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR/Hyundai i20) 34, 4. Kris Meeke (GBR/Citron C3) 32, 5. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 30, 6. Ott Tnak (EST/Toyota Yaris) 26, 7. Esapekka Lappi (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 23, 8. Craig Breen (IRL/Citron C3) 20, 9. Dani Sordo (ESP/Hyundai i20) 18, 10. Hayden Paddon (NZL/Hyundai i20) 10
1. Hyundai Motorsport 84 pts, 2. M-Sport Ford 72, 3. Citron Racing 71, 4. Toyota Gazoo Racing 67