Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has taken control on the Corona Rally Mexico following the second leg on Saturday.

Loeb went into the lead on the second stage on day 2 and had built up a 12.9 second cushion when Jari-Matti Latvala, his only real threat, lost time in the afternoon with a broken turbo charge pipe.

Seb will now take a lead of over a minute into the final short day, which includes only three 'proper' stages. Despite seemingly being well-placed though to notch up his third win in Mexico in as many years, the multiple world champion remains cautious and has said that he is still on his guard.

"The combination of our running order and the changes we made to the set-up of our car last night enabled us to push hard from the outset today. I felt much more comfortable with my car than I did yesterday, so we did all we could to pull further clear [in the afternoon]," he explained.

"It was important to build up as big a gap as possible because we will be the ones sweeping the stages on Sunday and the bigger our cushion the less difficult that promises to be.

"Our lead stands at just over a minute but I am still very much on my guard; victory is by no means in the bag yet. There is a long way to go but if this is the way it finishes it will be perfect. We just need to avoid punctures tomorrow. We will carry two spares but we only had one today as we needed everything to try to beat Latvala."

Citroen boss Olivier Quesnel was delighted to see his man end the day in such a dominant position.

He was also happy with Daniel Sordo's pace in the #2 car after the Spaniard re-started under the SupeRally and set some very good times - including winning SS11 and SS13.

In total Citroen managed to win seven of the days eight tests, with Loeb top in SS9, SS10 and SS12, as well as posting the joint quickest times with Henning Solberg and Chris Atkinson in the two super specials.

"It would be difficult not to be pleased with the way today went. Just as we had hoped yesterday, Seb and Daniel [Elena] were able to challenge for the lead and they profited from the work done on their car last night by Citro?n Sport to win their duel and pull out a useful gap," added Quesnel. "They haven't won this rally yet, though, and tomorrow's leg could well spring a surprise or two.

"The run of Dani and Marc [Marti] today was an encouraging pointer for the rest of the year. They matched the speed of their team-mates on several occasions and, had they not been eliminated on Friday when a component broke after an impact on SS1, they would be battling for a podium finish now. But there are plenty more rallies to come for that."

 

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