Citroen team leader, Sebastien Loeb has ended the second day of the Rally Mexico, the fourth round in the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship, with a commanding lead.

Seb began the day with a 26 second cushion but he quickly stamped his authority on proceedings, and was quickest on the 30.20 kilometre Ibarrilla 1 stage to stretch the gap to 37 seconds. He then took another stage win on Durate 1 to take the margin to 48 seconds and although he had to settle for the second best time in Derramadero 1, he did enough to ease further in front.

The Frenchman then proceeded to consolidated his lead on the repeat runs in the afternoon and two more stage wins ensured he ended the day with over a minute in hand on his nearest rival.

Loeb's only problem came in SS10, when like a number of other drivers, including Mark Higgins, Matthew Wilson and Travis Pastrana, he was slowed by an unsecured gate, which caused an obstruction at one point on the 23.51 kilometre test.

Seb now intends to ease off on Sunday and pace himself to the finish: "I am so confident with my car and my timings today that tomorrow I may take it a little bit easier," he noted following SS14.

Marcus Gronholm meanwhile moved up to second after a storming time on SS11, something that catapulted him three places up the leader-board. He then proceeded to build a good cushion in the afternoon and from being just 0.1 seconds up on his closest rival post-SS11, he now enjoys a 30-odd second 'lead'.

Overall the Finn was much happier on day two and while he was still disappointed to have 'wasted' one day, his focus is very much on securing the runners-up spot: "Maybe I am going much faster now, but I have still wasted one day and that is a shit," he stated. "Now I must concentrate on taking second place."

Mikko for his part was looking well placed to take third until a spin in SS13 dropped him to fourth. Although he managed to re-gain the final podium position in SS14, Daniel Sordo came back at him in the super specials and the Finn finished up 2.8 seconds adrift.

"I really thought that was the end [when I made an error in Duarte 2]. I went off, but I was so lucky. I managed to come to rest on the road, facing the wrong direction, and had to spin the car around. I had a 20-second lead over Dani and now that has gone. It will be a big fight now to the finish," promised the Rally Norway victor.

Of the rest, Chris Atkinson lies fifth, having slipped further behind this afternoon with turbo boost problems. Although the Aussie tried to fix the issue before SS13 he was unable to sort the problem.

"We still have no boost. Unfortunately, we will just have to try to cope with it now until the [end of day] service," he stated.

Manfred Stohl is next up, albeit 50 seconds further back in his Kronos-run Citroen Xsara WRC. The Austrian had a pretty uneventful morning although he was unable to keep up with the BP Ford's and Sordo. He lost more ground in the afternoon too, with a lot of wheel spin in SS12, a small gearbox problem in SS13 and SS14.

Stobart duo, Jari-Matti Latvala and Matthew Wilson round out the provisional points' scorers, the former managing to set two top five times in SS12 and SS13.

Wilson however is some way back, six minutes behind in the 'third' car. In addition to losing time with the gate obstruction in SS10, he also had two punctures in SS13 and finished the final 'proper' test claiming that there is possibly a problem with the rear of his car. That didn't seem to stop him in SS16 though and he took his second stage win of his short WRC career on the Super Special.

Henning Solberg meanwhile is on course to take the final manufacturers' point, having hauled himself up from the bottom end of the top twenty to ninth. Henning ended the day 2.5 minutes off Wilson, having gradually upped his pace as the day went on. His best time in the 'real' stages came in the second run through Derramadero 2, when he was fifth fastest overall.

In the Production Car WRC, Mark Higgins has had a thrilling battle with Mirco Baldacci and while the Brit lost out in SS10, when he had to stop and open that gate, he went back in front on the next test, SS11 and finally broke clear in SS14, when his rival suffered from an undisclosed mechanical problem.

Baldacci's misfortune promoted Toshi Arai to second, the Japanese driver over a minute off Higgins. Kristian Sohlberg completes the top three, with Baldacci now fourth, 4 minutes or so off the lead. Travis Pastrana and Fumio Nutahara round out the PWRC top six.

In terms of retirees, there were no 'works' retirements on day two and thus far only Petter Solberg has been forced out, the Norwegian having to stop after SS5 following a loss of engine oil. 'Hollywood' had been leading up to that point.

Luis Perez Companc however did re-start on Saturday and he ended the leg just outside the top 20. His Munchi's team-mate, Juan Pablo Raies, for the record, is 12th.

The Rally Mexico now comes to a close on Sunday, with four stages on the bill, including a fifth and final run on the Super Special. The action begins at 08.23 hours local time. 62 competitive kilometres have still to be run.