Citroen number one driver Sebastien Loeb is in a dominant position at the end of day two of the Corona Rally Mexico, the third round in the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship.

Loeb began the second leg 9.6 seconds adrift of Jari-Matti Latvala having been unable to keep up with him on Friday, however he slashed that margin to just one tenth of a second in SS9, the first stage of the day.

Seb then overhauled the Ford driver in SS10 and took the lead for the very first time. He eventually returned to the mid-day service in Leon with a 5.8 second cushion.

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In the afternoon the four-time world champion continued to pull away, doubling his lead to 12.9 seconds in SS12, before Jari was slowed by mechanical problems in SS13 and SS14, which dropped him right out of contention.

Loeb consequently finished with a lead of over a minute and is now all but assured of the victory, assuming his engine, which played up in the shakedown, goes the distance and doesn't let him down on the final day.

"We were pushing. In the afternoon we found a good rhythm and then Jari had his problem," said Loeb. "Now we need to keep the pace until the finish."

Latvala meanwhile, who had been so strong on day 1, lost out this morning due to his position in the order. He was only sixth fastest in SS9 and while he adapted to running first on the road better in SS10 and SS11, setting the third and fourth fastest times respectively, he was unable to stay in front.

Jari was then unable to try and come back at Loeb in the afternoon when his car let him down in Duarte 2. The BP Ford Abu Dhabi driver lost over 40 seconds in SS13 and then conceded more time in SS14. He finished the day over two minutes off Loeb and over a minute off Chris Atkinson, who moved up to second.

Atkinson had a solid day and while he noted that he was pushing as hard as possible, he was keen to avoid any stupid mistakes. The Aussie set top five times in all the 'proper' stages and is well on the way to notching up his best ever result in the WRC.

Further down the order, Henning Solberg is fourth, albeit around 1.5 minutes off Latvala in P3. Henning, who is competing for the Munchi's team this weekend, moved up a spot this afternoon when Mikko Hirvonen lost time in SS12 with a double puncture after hitting a rock.

The Norwegian then put in a charge to try and stay in front, topping the times on the repeat run through Derramadero, the final 'proper' stage of the day. In the end 15.9 seconds separated the two Ford runners following the two super specials.

Fellow Ford runners Matthew Wilson and Federico Villagra finished proceedings in sixth and seventh respectively - the latter losing 8 minutes this morning when his power steering failed in SS10. Wilson's biggest problem came this afternoon in contrast in SS14 when a stone was thrown at his car breaking his windscreen.

Of the rest Ricardo Trivino completes the provisional points' scorers in his privately entered Peugeot 206 WRC, while Citroen C2 S1600 runner Sebastien Ogier is ninth. Ogier continues to lead the Junior WRC category and the Frenchman is now 1.5 minutes up on Jaan Molder, who rounds out the top ten and is second in the JWRC. Michal Kosciuszko is third with Aaron Burkart and Patrik Sandell fourth and fifth.

In terms of retirements Petter Solberg was the only 'works' casualty today, forced out after SS11 due to a broken front left driveshaft. 'Hollywood' had been running in fourth. It is not yet known if the Subaru driver will be able to re-start on day 3.

If he doesn't he will join the likes of Gigi Galli, Toni Gardemeister and Per-Gunnar Andersson on the sidelines - none able to take advantage of the SupeRally after retiring on Friday. Daniel Sordo did however rejoin the fold and he is just inside the top 20 in his Citroen C4 WRC car.

The action now concludes on Sunday, with 61 competitive kilometres and four stages on the bill. SS17, the 16.09 kilometre-run through Leon starts at 08.28 hours local time.