Sebastien Loeb won Rally Mexico for the third year in a row and moved to within one point of Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen who still leads the championship after finishing fourth.
France's Sebastien Loeb reignited his push for a fifth successive world title when he cruised to a comfortable victory in the Rally of Mexico on Sunday.
The French Citroen driver, who won the opening leg in Monte Carlo before crashing out in the second round in Sweden, had led since Saturday morning and finished 1min 06sec ahead of Australian Subaru Impreza driver Chris Atkinson.
Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala, in a Ford Focus, who had led on Friday before losing valuable time with a damaged turbo on Saturday, was third 1min 39secs off the pace.
Sunday's win was 34-year-old Loeb's 38th triumph, a record for the championship.
It also moved him to within one point of Finnish Ford Focus driver Mikko Hirvonen who still leads the championship after finishing fourth on Sunday.
Rally of Mexico standings after Sunday's final day of the race, the third round of the 2008 world championship:
1. Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Citroen C4 3hr 33min 29.9sec, 2. Chris Atkinson (AUS) Subaru Impreza at 1:06.1, 3. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Ford Focus RS 1:39.7, 4. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Ford Focus RS 3:38.7, 5. Henning Solberg (NOR) Ford Focus RS 4:57.9, 6. Matthew Wilson (GBR) Ford Focus RS 6:28.9, 7. Federico Villagra (ARG) Ford Focus RS 19:03.0, 8. Ricardo Trivino (MEX) Peugeot 206 WRC 21:17.3, 9. Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Citroen C2 S1600 25:24.9
Selected: 12. Petter Solberg (NOR) Subaru Impreza 30:06.0, Conrad Rautenbach (ZIM) Citroen C4 34:04.1, 17. Dani Sordo (ESP) Citroen C4 34:15.1
Stage winners: Loeb 7 (SS2, SS3, SS8, SS9, SS10, SS12, SS16 equal, Latvala 4 (SS1, SS5, SS6, SS17), P. Solberg 2 (SS4, SS7), Sordo 2 (SS11, SS13), H. Solberg 2 (SS14, SS15), Atkinson 2 (ES16 equal, SS20), Hirvonen 1 (SS19)
Note: SS18 cancelled for security reasons
Principal retirements: Per-Gunnar Andersson (SWE) Suzuki SX4 (SS3); Toni Gardemeister (FIN) Suzuki SX4 (SS4); Gigi Galli (ITA) Ford Focus RS (SS4)
Date created : 2008-03-02