Rally Mexico : SS 8 - 25.23 km
The second leg of Rally Mexico includes a total of seven stages, just like in the previous leg. The crews left Leon in the direction of El Zauco, the first timed of the day.
El Zauco starts off with a nine-kilometre section of SS1-4, used
in the opposite direction (going East instead of West) until reaching the Agua Zarca junction. Soon after that, the drivers are facing a sharp uphill section, quickly followed by an even more abrupt downhill sector. The last kilometres are more twisty and conclude this very challenging stage.Sebastien Loeb
started the day on the attack and clinched the stage victory, just enough to take the lead by a mere seven tenths of a second over Solberg. I am in perfect condition and everything is OK. I am committed but it will be a long and hot day, mentioned Loeb.
Petter Solberg set the second quickest time but lost a costly ten seconds on his French rival. I am still ill, I cannot eat, I have just taken pills and I hope they work! said the unfortunate Subaru driver.
Mikko Hirvonen had a great day yesterday but the situation quickly changed for him this morning. The Ford driver rolled and went off the road less than two kilometres from the start. The Finn was not able to get back on the road and had no choice but to retire from the leg. A similar situation happened to Stobart driver Matthew Wilson. The young British driver went off the road and wasn't able to re-join the action.
With Hirvonen out of contention, Manfred Stohl moves up to third place in the race standings, although the Austrian is more than two minutes behind second place holder Petter Solberg! Stohl is chased by Dani Sordo, the Spaniard gaining two seconds on him in SS8 and only 134 seconds behind in the general standings.
Henning Solberg completes the top 5 but the Norwegian is still slowed down by persistent brake problems. We have changed the brake fluid. That is all we can do here to solve our brakes problem. I am very disappointed because I am so quick on the first split time of every stage.
Hugo GIGUERE © CAPSIS International