Petter Solberg will lead Rally Mexico into Friday's opening day proper after setting the quickest time on the Thursday evening spectator special stage.

At just 1.05km, the Guanajuato Street Stage was the shortest ever seen in the World Rally Championship, with Solberg covering the stage in just 53.2secs to beat fellow Citroen drivers Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier to top spot.

Ford pair Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen were fourth and fifth with the top six completed by Federico Villagra as he makes his first outing of the year for the Munchis Ford team.

Evgeny Novikov, another driver making a return to action, was seventh and matched the time set by Matthew Wilson, while Mads Ostberg and Nasser Al-Attiyah completed the top ten.

With the short stage featuring an underground run through a tunnel and some cobbled streets, there was always the risk of incidents despite the short nature of the test, but the only man to run into problems did so before even making it over the start ramp.

An electrical issue saw the Monster Ford Fiesta of Ken Block grind to a halt before going over the start ramp with the American left to work on the car in an effort to get out on the stages on Friday.

Rally Mexico: Overall standings after Stage 1 (Top 10):

1. Petter SolbergPSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC00mins 53.2secs M
2. Sebastien LoebCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRC+00mins 00.2secs M
3. Sebastien OgierCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRC+00mins 00.5secs M
4. Jari-Matti LatvalaFord Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 01.2secs M
5. Mikko HirvonenFord Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 01.6secs M
6. Federico VillagraMunchis Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 02.3secs M
7. Evgeny NovikovM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 02.7secs A1
8. Matthew WilsonM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 02.7secs A1
9. Mads OstbergM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 02.8secs M
10. Nasser Al-AttiyahFord Fiesta S2000+00mins 03.5secs S


11. Henning SolbergM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 03.7secs M
12. Denis KuipersFERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 04.0secs M

SWRC standings after Stage 1 (Top 3):

1. Nasser Al-AttiyahFord Fiesta S200000mins 56.7secs S
2. Martin ProkopFord Fiesta S2000+00mins 01.2secs S
3. Juho HanninenSkoda Fabia S2000+00mins 01.7secs S



Loading Comments...