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Loeb virtually out of reach on Mexico
Corona Rally Mexico : SS 15 - 37.99 km
After two gruelling days of competition, the drivers are now entering the final leg of Rally Mexico. Leg 3 is made up of three stages and the first test of the day is the Leon timed event, the fifteenth stage of the rally.
The Leon
stage is the longest of the rally with a total distance of 38 km. This timed event includes a good combination of fast and slower corners, goes to a peak altitude of 2,626 metres and offers the drivers a good opportunity to show their skills.
Race leader Sebastien Loeb achieved another great performance to clinch his ninth stage victory since the start of the event. This stage win gives him a nearly definitive advantage over his main rival Petter Solberg, who tried his best but had to settle for third fastest time, 12”6 slower than Loeb and 7”3 behind Marcus Gronholm in second position.

Loeb's lead increases to 50”3. Unless the French driver gets into trouble – and so many unpredictable things can happen on the Mexican roads – he is virtually out of reach of Solberg.

Manfred Stohl also consolidated his position in the race standings. The Austrian driver set the fourth quickest time and gained 27”4 over his main rival, Dani Sordo. Stohl's advantage over the Spaniard is now 59”6. “We did not try silly changes of set-up at service last night,” explained Stohl. “Yesterday, the car was not perfect but much better. So I left it like that as I don't want to risk losing my third place by destroying the balance.”

Chris Atkinson was also on the attack. The Subaru driver achieved the fifth best time and made up valuable time on his main opponents to finally move back into a point-scoring position for the drivers' championship. The Australian is now seventh overall.

Gronholm also gained a few places but the Finn is still behind Toshi Arai, who is currently eighth. However, the gap between the two men is only 21”1 so Marcus should be able to pass the Production class leader if it goes well for him in SS16.
Hugo GIGUERE © CAPSIS International


     Toshi and Nasser well out front
     Steering damage stops Stepan Vojtech
     On course for a podium
     Mexico: Loeb in the lead
     Solberg aiming for the win
     Contrast of fortunes for Matthew Wilson
     Ford duo chase points on Mexico
     Loeb consolidates his lead
     Solberg struggling with mechanical problem
     Loeb's back in first position!

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