Ogier takes small lead into Saturday
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, March 5th 2011, 02:32 GMT|
Sebastien Ogier stretched his lead over Sebastien Loeb very slightly as the works Citroen duo took a win apiece on the Guanajuato superspecial that closed Friday's Rally Mexico action.
Loeb was quickest on the first run through the extremely short stage, with Ogier fastest next time around and able to inch his advantage up to 2.3 seconds going into Saturday's stages.
With Ogier running first on what will be very dusty roads, that slender lead is set to disappear quickly - but Ogier will be relieved that he is still in contention at the front having escaped a potential penalty for taking the wrong route into service earlier on Friday.
The works Fords are next up, with Mikko Hirvonen a lonely third and Jari-Matti Latvala moving further clear of Stobart Ford's Evgeny Novikov on the street stages as he consolidated fourth. Hirvonen's 1m22s deficit to the lead could to be too large to close even with the road-cleaning effect slowing the Citroens.
Behind Henning Solberg (Stobart) and Dennis Kuipers (Ferm Ford), the high attrition rate has allowed the S2000 class frontrunners into the overall top 10, led by Nasser Al-Attiyah, though Stobart's Mads Ostberg is on the brink of getting back into the points having recovered to 11th after his early puncture.
Leading positions after SS10: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen 1h27m22.3s 2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 2.3s 3. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 1m22.2s 4. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 2m53.6s 5. Evgeny Novikov Stobart Ford + 3m04.0s 6. Henning Solberg Stobart Ford + 3m16.5s 7. Dennis Kuipers Ferm Ford + 5m06.8s 8. Nasser Al-Attiyah Barwa Ford + 5m15.2s 9. Ott Tanak MM Ford + 5m42.2s 10. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 6m07.8s