Petter Solberg has concluded the opening day of the Rally Mexico, the second round in the 2010 World Rally Championship, in the lead.

Solberg grabbed P1 from the off this morning, when he won three of the four opening tests in his privately entered Citroen C4 WRC. The Norwegian was then again quickest this afternoon in SS5 and SS6 to stretch his advantage to 20.7 seconds.

However he was unable to maintain that pace in SS7 and saw his cushion trimmed back to 17.4 seconds. He also lost out in the two short Super Specials that brought the day to a conclusion.

Solberg will now go into Saturday's second leg with a 15 second lead having opted not to go tactical: "There is no reason to slow down," he said. "We will see the result on the last day. I'll do the best I can. I have no strategy."

Sebastien Ogier meanwhile heads the chasing pack, and while he had to settle for second best again this afternoon in SS5 and SS6, he hit back in SS7, winning his second test of the event, to ensure he stayed in touch. He also set the pace on the two 2.21 km Super Specials to take another 2.4 seconds off 'Hollywood'.

Sebastien Loeb completes the top three, and while he failed to make up any time on the repeat loop, he minimised the damage. He now lies 12.5 seconds off Ogier - and 27.6 seconds off Solberg.

Behind the provisional podium men, Dani Sordo ensures it is a Citroen 1-2-3-4, albeit 13.3 seconds further adrift, while Jari-Matti Latvala heads the Ford charge in fifth, now just over a minute off the leader.

Latvala's team-mate, Mikko Hirvonen rounds out the top six, having struggled running first on the road and having to act as the 'road sweeper'. Hirvonen is 30.3 seconds off P5 and only 6 seconds up on Stobart Ford man, Henning Solberg, who lies in seventh.

Of the rest, Britain's Matthew Wilson is eighth, with Munchi's Ford man Federico Villagra ninth and Ken Block tenth, the latter having slipped back a place on the leaderboard with a slow time in Ortega 2.

In the Super 2000 WRC, Xavier Pons now holds P1 after early leader Michal Kosciuszko stopped in SS6. Pons is 8 seconds up on Martin Prokop. There was also a change in the PWRC with Armindo Araujo overhauling Toshi Arai thanks to three quickest class times in succession in SS5, SS6 and SS7.

As for retirees, the most notable was 2007 F1 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen. After engine problems this morning, which saw Raikkonen lose more than 35 minutes and slip to last place, he went off the road in SS7. Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom are both reported to be okay.

The action now continues tomorrow with a further nine stages on the bill. Saturday is the longest day of the event, with 159 competitive kilometres. SS10, Ibarrilla 1, starts at 07.54 hours local time [13.54 hours UK time].

Overall standings after Day 1 (Top 10):

1. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen C4 WRC 01hours 23mins 39.9secs A8
2. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC +00mins 15.0secs M
3. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC +00mins 27.5secs M
4. Dani Sordo Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC +00mins 40.8secs M
5. Jari-Matti Latvala BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC +01mins 01.2secs M
6. Mikko Hirvonen BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC +01mins 31.5secs M
7. Henning Solberg Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC +01mins 37.5secs M
8. Matthew Wilson Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC +02mins 47.2secs A8
9. Federico Villagra Munchi's Ford Focus WRC +04mins 19.8secs M
10. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Focus WRC +04mins 33.3secs A8

SWRC Standings after Day 1 (Top 3):

1. Xavier Pons Ford Fiesta S2000 01hours 31mins 23.6secs S
2. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta S2000 +00mins 08.0secs S
3. Nasser Al-Attiyah Skoda Fabia S2000 +01mins 18.7secs S

PWRC Standings after Day 1 (Top 3):

1. Armindo Araujo Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 01hours 31mins 59.4secs P
2. Toshi Arai Subaru Impreza Sti N15 +00mins 05.4secs P
3. Miguel Angel Baldoni Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +02mins 42.4secs P