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Motorsport | Rallying

Sebastien Loeb © Gallo Images

Loeb wins in Mexico once again



Sebastien Loeb extended his lead in the world championship with a comfortable victory in the Rally Mexico on Sunday.

The Frenchman won the rally for the sixth year in a row after starting the final day with a commanding 36-second lead which he increased to more than 42 seconds by the end.

His Citroen teammate Mikko Hirvonen finished second and Norway's Petter Solberg came third, more than two minutes behind the winner, on the gravel stages around host city Leon.

"I am very happy," Loeb told reporters. "I always win here. It is a great result for the team as well, with Mikko finishing second, a one-two for us."

Solberg's factory Ford teammate Jari-Matti Latvala was poised to finish third when he went off the road after getting distracted when Russia's Evgeny Novikov crashed ahead of him.

Latvala finished the stage but the damage to his roll cage forced him to retire with two stages remaining.

"I saw from far away Novikov's car and I was very confused," said the Finn.

"I first thought the car was on the road and I made a movement to avoid it and my car went off and rolled. It took a lot to get it back on the road."

Norway's Mads Ostberg recovered from a puncture to finish fourth while Estonia's Ott Tanak was fifth and Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiyah sixth.

Loeb, already an eight-time world champion, extended his lead in this year's title race to 16 points after three of 13 rounds.

He has 66 points with Hirvonen second on 50 and Solberg third with 47. The next rally is in Portugal at the end of the month.

RESULTS
1. Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen 4:15:32.700
2. Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Citroen +00:42.400
3. Petter Solberg (Norway) Ford 02:11.400
4. Mads Ostberg (Norway) Ford 04:51.500
5. Ott Taenak (Estonia) Ford 05:02.600
6. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) Citroen 06:41.400
7. Armindo Araujo (Portugal) Mini 12:46.900
8. Sebastien Ogier (France) Ford 14:57.800
9. Ken Block (U.S.) Subaru 22:26.800
10. Ricardo Trivino (Mexico) Ford 23:30.700

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