Benito Guerra has surprised Formula 1 favourites by taking the outright Race Of Champions win beating Loic Duval in the final at Mexico City’s Foro Sol.

With the home crowd getting behind Guerra, the rally driver won two straight heats in the final against former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Duval to claim his maiden Race Of Champions win.

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Mexicans made up three of the four semi-finalists with Patricio O’Ward and former F1 star Esteban Gutierrez both beaten in their respective semi-finals, with the 2018 IndyCar Lights Champion defeated by Duval and overall winner Guerra seeing off his fellow countryman Gutierrez.

“This feeling is completely amazing. I’m lost for words but I’m really happy,” Guerra said. “Thank you so much to all the crowds for supporting me, it was a very tough competition.

“It’s amazing to be competing against so many of the world’s top drivers and I had to face up to so many great drivers along the way, but I’m really happy to be the number one.

“It’s been an amazing weekend and to have so much support from the grandstands has been incredible. This one is for Mexico.”

Guerra also beat Red Bull Racing F1 star Pierre Gasly in their quarter-final, while Mick Schumacher – runner-up in the Race Of Champions Nations Cup for Team Germany – also reached the quarter-final losing to Gutierrez.

Schumacher had earlier given Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel an early exit in a dramatic Group stage head-to-head in which the new Ferrari Driver Academy member triumphed against the four-time F1 world champion.

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