Thierry Neuville holds early Mexico lead, Sebastien Loeb in 10th
Rally Mexico

Thierry Neuville holds early Mexico lead, Sebastien Loeb in 10th

Thierry Neuville set a commanding fastest time on the Guanajuato street stage that opened Rally Mexico, as Sebastien Loeb began his World Rally Championship return in 10th place.

Thursday night's short, spectator-friendly curtain-raiser was not representative of the dusty gravel roads that will form the majority of the route - and on which WRC points leader Neuville is likely to struggle as he spends Friday first on the road.

But Hyundai driver Neuville was able to set the pace on the street stage by 1.9 seconds over Toyota's Ott Tanak.

Toyota had held a 1-2-3 formation on the leaderboard with just Sebastien Ogier and Neuville to run.

Ogier made a small error and had to settle for a provisional second, a tenth off Tanak, before Neuville usurped both to take his early lead.

Tanak's team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi completed the initial top five, with shakedown pacesetter and 2017 Mexico winner Kris Meeke the top Citroen in seventh behind Andreas Mikkelsen.

Loeb was first on the road for this stage before the order is flipped for the main part of the event, and ended up 10th quickest of the 11 World Rally Cars with a time 4.7s down on Neuville.

Related news

Marquez seals title after late Dovizioso crash

Marquez seals title after late Dovizioso crash

Marc Marquez secured his fifth MotoGP world championship with an eighth victory of the 2018 season in the Japanese Grand Prix as rival Andrea Dovizioso crashed.

Lewis Hamilton edges out Ferraris for U.S. Grand Prix pole

Lewis Hamilton edges out Ferraris for U.S. Grand Prix pole

Lewis Hamilton snatched pole position at the U.S. Grand Prix in an incredibly tight qualifying session that saw both Ferraris set times within 0.070s of the Mercedes driver.

Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final practice for U.S. Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final practice for U.S. Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel topped the final practice session for the U.S. Grand Prix as Ferrari emerged as the fastest team in a dry conditions at the Circuit of the Americas.

Dovizioso on pole in Japan, Marquez to start sixth

Dovizioso on pole in Japan, Marquez to start sixth

Italian Andrea Dovizioso piled the pressure on championship leader Marc Marquez by qualifying in pole position for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix while the Spaniard will start in sixth.

Lewis Hamilton fastest again in wet second practice session at U.S. Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton fastest again in wet second practice session at U.S. Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton went quickest in the second practice session for the U.S. Grand Prix, which saw running restricted by rain.

Lewis Hamilton comfortably fastest in opening practice session at U.S. Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton comfortably fastest in opening practice session at U.S. Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening practice session for the U.S. Grand Prix, setting a time 1.304s clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas in wet conditions.

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead

M-Sport's Sebastien Ogier capitalised on trouble for his World Rally Championship rivals Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville with a fifth Rally GB victory, fending off Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala.

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle

Marc Marquez took victory in MotoGP's inaugural Thailand Grand Prix, passing chief rival Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap to take a step closer to the 2018 championship crown.

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth

Lewis Hamilton has inched ever closer to a fifth world championship after dominating an incident-filled Japanese Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel once again hit trouble.

RELATED NEWS

Marquez seals title after late Dovizioso crash
Japanese Grand Prix

Marquez seals title after late Dovizioso crash

Marc Marquez secured his fifth MotoGP world championship with an eighth victory of the 2018 season in the Japanese Grand Prix as rival Andrea Dovizioso crashed.

Lewis Hamilton edges out Ferraris for U.S. Grand Prix pole
U.S. Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton edges out Ferraris for U.S. Grand Prix pole

Lewis Hamilton snatched pole position at the U.S. Grand Prix in an incredibly tight qualifying session that saw both Ferraris set times within 0.070s of the Mercedes driver.

Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final practice for U.S. Grand Prix
U.S. Grand Prix - FP3

Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final practice for U.S. Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel topped the final practice session for the U.S. Grand Prix as Ferrari emerged as the fastest team in a dry conditions at the Circuit of the Americas.

Dovizioso on pole in Japan, Marquez to start sixth
Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Dovizioso on pole in Japan, Marquez to start sixth

Italian Andrea Dovizioso piled the pressure on championship leader Marc Marquez by qualifying in pole position for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix while the Spaniard will start in sixth.

Lewis Hamilton fastest again in wet second practice session at U.S. Grand Prix
U.S. Grand Prix - FP2

Lewis Hamilton fastest again in wet second practice session at U.S. Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton went quickest in the second practice session for the U.S. Grand Prix, which saw running restricted by rain.

Lewis Hamilton comfortably fastest in opening practice session at U.S. Grand Prix
U.S. Grand Prix - FP1

Lewis Hamilton comfortably fastest in opening practice session at U.S. Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening practice session for the U.S. Grand Prix, setting a time 1.304s clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas in wet conditions.

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead
Rally Great Britain

Ogier wins in Britain, Neuville retains overall lead

M-Sport's Sebastien Ogier capitalised on trouble for his World Rally Championship rivals Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville with a fifth Rally GB victory, fending off Toyota's Jari-Matti Latvala.

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle
Thailand Grand Prix

Marc Marquez wins in spectacular last-lap battle

Marc Marquez took victory in MotoGP's inaugural Thailand Grand Prix, passing chief rival Andrea Dovizioso on the final lap to take a step closer to the 2018 championship crown.

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth
Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Sebastian Vettel sixth

Lewis Hamilton has inched ever closer to a fifth world championship after dominating an incident-filled Japanese Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel once again hit trouble.