Ogier takes WRC lead with Mexico win

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An unusual perspective of Sebastien Ogier and his Volkswagen Polo R on their way to winning the Rally of Mexico. Picture: Massimo Bettiol

Leon, Mexico - World rally champion Sebastien Ogier took the lead in the overall standings on Sunday after winning the Rally of Mexico ahead of Volkswagen team mate Jari-Matti Latvala.

The victory, by a comfortable one minute 12.6 seconds, was Ogier's second of the season and the team's first 1-2 of 2014.

Belgian Thierry Neuville was a distant third for Hyundai's first podium finish - after having to stop twice on the final road section to the formal finish in Leon to top up a leaking radiator with a giant bottle of the rally sponsor's beer he'd been given after the Power Stage.

KUBICA ON A ROLL (OR TWO)

Britain's Elfyn Evans finished a career best fourth in a Ford while Polish team mate, former Formula One driver Robert Kubica, retired after rolling his car twice in two days.

Ogier, who has now won 18 world championship rallies, leads Latvala by just three points after three rounds of the championship.

“It was the perfect week, a victory in the rally and the Power Stage,” said Ogier. “I came here very angry after a small mistake in Sweden and that's the best way to restart my winning ways in the championship.”

The next round of the series will be run in Portugal from 3-6 April.

RESULTS

1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen 4hours 27min41.8

2 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen +1min12.6

3 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai +5min28.6

4 Elfyn Evans (Britain) Ford +6min49.3

5 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Ford +9min54.4

6 Benito Guerra (Mexico) Ford +12mmin57.6

7 Chris Atkinson (Australia) Hyundai +15min15.4

8 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Ford +17min06.8

9 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen +25min41.6

10 Yuri Protasov (Ukraine) Ford +28min8.2

Stage winners:

Ogier 14 (SS1, SS2, SS5 to SS8, SS10, SS12, SS13, SS 14, SS 15, SS16, SS19, SS22)

Ostberg 5 (SS3, SS4, SS11, SS20, SS21)

Latvala 2 (SS9, SS17)

Meeke 1 (SS18)

Drivers' standings

1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen - 63 points

2 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen - 60

3 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen - 32

4 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen - 24

5 Elfyn Evans (Britain) M-Sport - 20

6 Bryan Bouffier (France) M-Sport - 18

7 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) M-Sport - 18

8 Kris Meeke (Britain) Citroen - 17

9 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai - 15

10 Ott Taenak (Estonia) M-Sport - 10

11 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Jipocar - 10

12 Benito Guerra (Mexico) M-Sport - 8

13 Henning Solberg (Norway) Henning Solberg - 6

14 Chris Atkinson (Australia) Hyundai - 6

15 Jaroslav Melicharek (Slovakia) Slovakia World Rally Team - 4

16 Pontus Tidemand (Sweden) Pontus Tidemand - 4

17 Matteo Gamba (Italy) Matteo Gamba - 2

18 Craig Breen (Ireland) Craig Breen - 2

19 Yuri Protasov (Ukraine) Yuri Protasov - 2

Constructors' Standings

1 Volkswagen Motorsport - 115

2 Citroen World Rally Team - 60

3 M-Sport World Rally Team - 40

4 Hyundai Motorsport - 31

5 Volkswagen Motorsport II - 28

6 Jipocar Czech National Team - 10

7 RK M-Sport World Rally Team - 4

Reuters


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