WRC Rally Mexico: Jari-Matti Latvala marches on, attrition behind

Jari-Matti Latvala carries a minute and a half lead over Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier into Rally Mexico's Saturday evening superspecials, as Andreas Mikkelsen crashed out of the podium fight

WRC Rally Mexico: Jari-Matti Latvala marches on, attrition behind

Latvala, who is yet to score a point this season, is bidding to become the first man to beat Ogier in 2016 - the Frenchman having scored the maximum 56 points on offer so far this year.

Carrying a 76-second lead into the afternoon loop, the Finn made sure he enters the final stages of competition as favourite to win the rally by again setting the fastest times on the three stages, preserving the 90-second lead he had built by the end of SS15, Otates.

Ogier holds a lonely second place, but it was Mikkelsen in the third Volkswagen Polo R WRC who stole the headlines on Otates after stopping on the stage.

Mikkelsen - who had a potential penalty looming over him for allegedly entering the service park a minute early - had been faster than Ogier through the opening 20 miles of SS15, but stopped just after the fourth split and was not able to continue.

Volkswagen confirmed shortly afterwards that the car had gone off the road and both Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jaeger were OK.

Mikkelsen had been set to displace Dani Sordo for third on the leaderboard having reduced his arrears to the Hyundai driver to just 4.5s by the start of Otates, but instead the Spaniard looks set to score a comfortable podium - which would be his first of the season, and Hyundai's third in as many rallies.

Mads Ostberg continued his consistent run on Rally Mexico and holds fourth place, having avoided any trouble to this point.

He holds a 55-second advantage over Hayden Paddon, the Kiwi having forfeited his lead over Ostberg on the first run of Otates after smacking his Hyundai i20 WRC into a wall towards the beginning of the stage, breaking a toe arm.

Ott Tanak occupies a lonely sixth, while Martin Prokop has pulled away from Lorenzo Bertelli in their battle for seventh.

Teemu Suninen continues to dominate the WRC2 category, and is ninth overall in his Skoda Fabia R5.

Join Race Centre Live at 1345 UK time on Sunday for the conclusion of Rally Mexico

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS16:

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WRC Rally Mexico: Jari-Matti Latvala dominates Saturday morning
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