SS3: Flying Latvala takes Mexico lead

Stage win for Ford’s Finn demotes Citroen’s Hirvonen to second


By Franck Drui

9 March 2012 - 17:14
SS3: Flying Latvala takes Mexico (...)

Jari-Matti Latvala has become the third different leader in as many stages on Rally Guanajuato Mexico by going fastest of all on stage three of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia counter.

The Finn’s pace in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC means he demotes countryman Mikko Hirvonen to second after the Citroen driver was unable to replicate the speed he showed on stage two. Hirvonen’s team-mate Sebastien Loeb was 1.9s adrift of Latvala through the stage and remains third overall, 6.7s behind Loeb.

There was more frustration for overnight leader Petter Solberg who dropped almost 30 seconds to his rivals in his factory Fiesta. The Norwegian is now 1m23.2s behind Latvala.

Ott Tanak continued his strong start with the sixth quickest time in his M-Sport Fiesta, 1.7s faster than Chris Atkinson managed in his Monster-backed example. However, the Estonian’s efforts were overshadowed by fellow rising star Thierry Neuville, who was 11.7s quicker for the Citroen Junior World Rally Team.

Neuville’s pace was such that his time was only 9.2s slower slower than stage winner Latvala.


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