5 March 2010
Solberg maintains lead
Petter Solberg holds P1 at the end of day 1 in Mexico having won five of the day's seven 'proper' stages in his Citroen C4 WRC.
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.
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