Click here for full WRC Rally Mexico results

Jari-Matti Latvala has kick-started his World Rally Championship campaign with a maiden Rally Mexico victory after fending off a late charge by Sebastien Ogier, as the defending WRC champion dropped points for the first time in 2016.

After grabbing the initiative over the first three legs with the help of an advantageous road position, having retired from both Rallye Monte Carlo and Rally Sweden, the Volkswagen Motorsport driver inched out a lead on Ogier on the smoother roads as the French driver acted as sweeper. The Finn made it count on Saturday's leg three with a series of stage wins to strengthen his top spot which forced Ogier to admit the chance of victory had gone.

It was a flawless finish to the Central American event for the Volkswagen Motorsport squad with Ogier claiming both stage wins on the final day, including the all-important Power stage victory and with it three bonus points, while Latvala grabbed second on the final stage to win Rally Mexico by 1m 05s.

Hyundai ensured its new i20 WRC challenger maintained its rostrum result run in 2016 with Dani Sordo taking the final step on the podium, after Thierry Neuville grabbed a podium at Monte Carlo and Hayden Paddon in Sweden.

The Spaniard had come under huge pressure from Andreas Mikkelsen in the Volkswagen Motorsport II but his rally was ended after crashing out of SS15.

Mikkelsen's retirement means despite dropping points for the first time in 2016 by finished second on his 100th WRC event Ogier extends his championship lead to 38 points as Mads Ostberg jumps to second after finishing fourth in Mexico.

The Norwegian's fourth place saw M-Sport score its 200th consecutive points finish in WRC - a run which began in 2002 at Rallye Monte Carlo when Carlos Sainz claimed third and Colin McRae finished fourth.

On the other side of the M-Sport team it was another nightmare event for Eric Camilli who crashed out on the first stage of leg three and returned under Rally 2 regulations, while Neuville suffered two offs for Hyundai, the second of which he needed precautionary medical attention.

DMACK WRT's Ott Tanak claimed victory in the inter-championship fight between the privateer Ford drivers by taking sixth place ahead of Martin Prokop in the Jipocar Czech and Lorenzo Bertelli in the Pirelli-shod FWRT.

Skoda's Teemu Suninen strolled to victory in the WRC2 class, claiming the win by almost 20 minutes from Hubert Ptaszek in the Peugeot.

Click here for full WRC Rally Mexico results

 

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