Dani Sordo leads, Sebastien Loeb third in Mexico
Rally Mexico

Dani Sordo leads, Sebastien Loeb third in Mexico

Hyundai's Dani Sordo stormed into the Rally Mexico lead on Friday morning, while Sebastien Loeb established himself in third place on his World Rally Championship return.

Having retired from Monte Carlo and not been entered for Sweden, Sordo's zero-point championship position meant he was a very favourable 10th of the 11 World Rally Cars on the road for Mexico's first gravel stages.

Last year's Mexico winner Kris Meeke - seventh on the road - hit the front for Citroen initially on the Duarte-Derramadero stage, but back-to-back stage wins on the following El Chocolate and Ortega stages thrust Sordo to the front while Meeke felt his choice of two hard front tyres might have proved incorrect.

Meeke dropped to third behind Elfyn Evans - who was eighth in the start order - on El Chocolate, but a high-speed trip off the road on Ortega cost Evans nearly three minutes and dropped him to 12th.

That elevated Meeke and Loeb to second and third, with Sordo leading by 16.6 seconds heading to service.

Loeb closed to within 1.3s of Meeke on the Leon street stage, helped by a minor Meeke error in which his Citroen went up on two wheels and drove over a large pot plant on the apex of a hairpin.

Ott Tanak is close behind the two Citroens in the only Toyota not struck by a repeat of last year's overheating problems. Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi have struggled badly with power losses and are back in seventh and 10th.

Championship leader Thierry Neuville had to grapple with opening the dusty road, but was staying in touch with the front group in seventh until the Leon street stage just before service.

He slowed and reported a potential engine problem, and his Hyundai's driver's side door also repeatedly flapped open during the stage, dropping him to ninth behind Leon pacesetter Teemu Suninen.

Although Sebastien Ogier is in the unusual position of not opening the road, he felt running second was still a heavy disadvantage and he is fifth - just 1.3s ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen, who was not totally happy with his Hyundai's handling.

Related news

Fernando Alonso's Toyota wins Le Mans 24 Hours after dominant display

Fernando Alonso's Toyota wins Le Mans 24 Hours after dominant display

Toyota Gazoo Racing secured a dominant one-two at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours on Sunday.

Lorenzo dominates to take second Ducati win

Lorenzo dominates to take second Ducati win

Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo scored his second consecutive MotoGP win, converting pole position at Barcelona into a dominant triumph after a short battle with Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo on pole for Ducati at home Catalunya MotoGP

Lorenzo on pole for Ducati at home Catalunya MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first MotoGP pole position for Ducati in qualifying for the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Sebastian Vettel reclaims championship lead with dominant Canada win

Sebastian Vettel reclaims championship lead with dominant Canada win

Sebastian Vettel retook the lead of the drivers' championship after winning the Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.

Neuville beats Ogier by a fraction of a second in Sardinia

Neuville beats Ogier by a fraction of a second in Sardinia

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville overhauled World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier on the last stage in a dramatic conclusion to win Rally Italy by just 0.7 seconds.

Neuville closes on Ogier's Rally Italy lead

Neuville closes on Ogier's Rally Italy lead

The charging Hyundai of Thierry Neuville cut his World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier's Rally Italy lead down to only 1.3 seconds on Sunday morning, with just two stages remaining.

Latvala retires from WRC Rally Italy battle

Latvala retires from WRC Rally Italy battle

Jari-Matti Latvala has lost third place on Rally Italy, after a technical problem forced him to retire his Toyota despite the World Rally Championship's Saturday stages having already been completed.

Ogier and Neuville 3.9 seconds apart in Sardinia

Ogier and Neuville 3.9 seconds apart in Sardinia

World champion Sebastien Ogier and Belgian title rival Thierry Neuville were locked in a tight battle after the penultimate leg of the Rally of Italy in Sardinia on Saturday.

Ogier holds Neuville at bay in tight Italy battle

Ogier holds Neuville at bay in tight Italy battle

Sebastien Ogier maintained a slim lead on Rally Italy ahead of World Rally Championship rival Thierry Neuville at the end of Saturday, taking a 3.9-second advantage into the deciding day.

RELATED NEWS

Fernando Alonso's Toyota wins Le Mans 24 Hours after dominant display
Le Mans 24 Hours

Fernando Alonso's Toyota wins Le Mans 24 Hours after dominant display

Toyota Gazoo Racing secured a dominant one-two at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours on Sunday.

Lorenzo dominates to take second Ducati win
MotoGP - Catalunya Grand Prix

Lorenzo dominates to take second Ducati win

Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo scored his second consecutive MotoGP win, converting pole position at Barcelona into a dominant triumph after a short battle with Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo on pole for Ducati at home Catalunya MotoGP
MotoGP - Catalunya Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lorenzo on pole for Ducati at home Catalunya MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first MotoGP pole position for Ducati in qualifying for the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Sebastian Vettel reclaims championship lead with dominant Canada win
Canadian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel reclaims championship lead with dominant Canada win

Sebastian Vettel retook the lead of the drivers' championship after winning the Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.

Neuville beats Ogier by a fraction of a second in Sardinia
WRC Rally Italy

Neuville beats Ogier by a fraction of a second in Sardinia

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville overhauled World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier on the last stage in a dramatic conclusion to win Rally Italy by just 0.7 seconds.

Neuville closes on Ogier's Rally Italy lead
WRC Rally Italy

Neuville closes on Ogier's Rally Italy lead

The charging Hyundai of Thierry Neuville cut his World Rally Championship rival Sebastien Ogier's Rally Italy lead down to only 1.3 seconds on Sunday morning, with just two stages remaining.

Latvala retires from WRC Rally Italy battle
WRC Rally Italy

Latvala retires from WRC Rally Italy battle

Jari-Matti Latvala has lost third place on Rally Italy, after a technical problem forced him to retire his Toyota despite the World Rally Championship's Saturday stages having already been completed.

Ogier and Neuville 3.9 seconds apart in Sardinia
WRC Rally Italy

Ogier and Neuville 3.9 seconds apart in Sardinia

World champion Sebastien Ogier and Belgian title rival Thierry Neuville were locked in a tight battle after the penultimate leg of the Rally of Italy in Sardinia on Saturday.

Ogier holds Neuville at bay in tight Italy battle
WRC Rally Italy

Ogier holds Neuville at bay in tight Italy battle

Sebastien Ogier maintained a slim lead on Rally Italy ahead of World Rally Championship rival Thierry Neuville at the end of Saturday, taking a 3.9-second advantage into the deciding day.