Kronos Citroen ace, Sebastien Loeb has seized the advantage on the Corona Rally Mexico following the second leg on Saturday.

Loeb went in front on the first stage Saturday morning, before overnight leader, Petter Solberg re-asserted his authority on SS9.

Loeb then proceeded to set five fastest stages time on the trot, finally re-taking the lead on SS12, when Solberg had tyre problems. The Frenchman now enjoys over a 30 second lead. His only problem a herd of cows on the penultimate test!

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"In a straight [on SS13] where I should have been flat out, I had to drop down to second gear to go round some cows on the stage. But they didn't seem surprised to see me! The rest of the stage was fine," he noted.

SS13 though proved crucial for Solberg and while he dropped 4.8 seconds behind after SS12, the second run through Derramdero was disastrous for the Subaru driver - the Norwegian clobbering a rock with a front wheel 3 kilometres in, breaking the power steering system in the process. 'Hollywood' was thus forced to drive the remainder of the stage, more than 20 kilometres without steering assistance in temperatures of more than 30?C, something that meant he could only post the sixth quickest time - finishing the test exhausted and more than 20 seconds slower than Loeb. He now lies 37.7 seconds behind, conceding more time on SS14 after spinning his Impreza.

Manfred Stohl remains on course for the final podium position, the Austrian was happier with the set-up on his 307 and his only drama was in SS13 when he came nose-to-nose with a herd of cows!

"I was so lucky... at full speed there were 10-15 cows in the middle of the road," explained the OMV Peugeot Norway WRT driver. "I just managed to avoid them but it was quite frightening."

Reigning Junior champion, Daniel Sordo is fourth, around 30 seconds or so adrift in his Xsara, while Henning Solberg and Gareth MacHale round out the top six. Henning again suffered brakes problems and he was at a loss to explain why.

"I had problems with the brakes again but I don't know why because I'm not pushing. Happily there is a big gap behind me," he noted.

Toshi Arai is seventh overall and the Japanese driver also leads the Production Car WRC category, now 40.9 seconds up on his nearest rival, despite a scare in SS12, which saw his 2 minute advantage more than halved, when he had to stop to fix a puncture.

Ricardo Trivino is on course to take the final point, ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah in ninth and SupeRally re-starters, Chris Atkinson and Marcus Gronholm, who are tenth and eleventh respectively.

Stobart VK driver, Luis Perez Companc also rejoined the fold on Saturday, he now lies 13th overall. Xavier Pons however, was not so lucky, and his engine problems on SS2 on Friday proved terminal forcing him out of the event for good.

Of the other 'works' drivers, Mikko Hirvonen and Matthew Wilson both went out on the first test Saturday, the former, who was second overnight, rolled his Focus 1.7 kilometres into the stage and was unable to rejoin.

Wilson Jr. didn't make it much further through SS8 either - and he lost it on a corner 4 kilometres from the start. The incident left the Focus with a bent wheel and damaged steering arm.

"It was a right-hander with a dip in it that caused the off," explained Wilson Jr. "We hit the dip awkwardly and the Focus bounced out and into the bank. The damage doesn't look too bad, but the broken wheel and steering arm meant we couldn't get it sorted at the side of the road - we couldn't even get the wheel changed as it was stuck fast on full lock."

Hirvonen and Wilson will both be able to re-join the action on Sunday under the SupeRally format.

The final leg on Sunday is the shortest of the rally, containing just 60.42km of competition in three stages. It begins with the 37.99km Leon test, the longest of the event, and ends with a third and final pass over the Nextel superspecial stage on the edge of the city. Drivers depart Le?n at 07.45 and return for the finish ceremony at 12.30 [all times local].