Loeb and Sordo waiting to pounce!
Rally Mexico (4 – 7 March 2010) – Day 1

On the first day of Rally Mexico, four CitroënC4 WRCs fill the first four places in the provisional classification. Petter Solberg and Sébastien Ogier made the most of their advantageous starting positions in the stages, while behind, Sébastien Loeb and Dani Sordo are waiting to pounce. The Citroën Total World Rally Team drivers will be ideally placed to close the gap to the leaders on the second day of the rally.

As expected the passage order was the determining factor in the unfolding of the first day of the Rally Mexico this Friday in the outskirts of Léon. The stages were covered with a thick layer of dust and were very slippery for the first drivers who swept the line for their pursuers.

Sébastien Loeb and Dani Sordo, second and fourth in the world championship after Rally Sweden, filled these positions today. Despite the treacherous conditions they pushed hard so as not to be left behind by drivers who had a cleaner route.

At the end of the first loop of four stages, Sébastien Loeb was in third place, 26.1s behind Petter Solberg: “I’m pretty happy with the morning. I drove well and I think I’ve managed a good damagelimitations exercise given the road conditions. We expected that drivers starting far back would be able to take advantage of the situation to open up a good lead. Peter seems very much at ease behind the wheel of his C4 and he’s driving well, but there are still 300 kilometres of specials to go! I think today will see a more level playing field for everybody.”

Dani Sordo who was lying fourth three seconds behind his team-mate was also very upbeat about his start to the rally: “The car’s sliding around a lot and it’s not always easy to stay on the right line, but it’s going well! We’ve made a few modifications to the C4 to adapt it to this afternoon’s conditions. With cleaner roads we should have more grip.”

In the second loop the leaders were unable to continue opening up a big gap. Loeb and Daniel Elena stayed in third place under thirty seconds behind the rally leader: “ Like our rivals we decided not to lift off to have a better starting position on the road for tomorrow. I like fair play and I think we’re going to see a great battle between five or six drivers tomorrow. With 160 timed kilometres compared to only sixty on Sunday, the day will be crucial in deciding the outcome of the battle for victory. My third place isn’t ideal but it’s not too bad either. I’ll have to push from the first to the last metre!”

Dani Sordo and Marc Marti who kept up the same pace were still lying fourth when they arrived back at the service park in Léon: “I didn’t make any mistakes and the car went well all day. Although I’m forty seconds behind Petter a good result is still a possibility. We’ve just got to have a super day tomorrow.”

Classification at the end of the first day
1. P. Solberg / Mills Citroën C4 1h23’39’’9
2. Ogier / Ingrassia Citroën C4 +15’’0
3. Loeb / Elena Citroën C4 +27’’5
4. Sordo / Marti Citroën C4 +40’’8
5. Latvala / Anttila Ford Focus +1’01’’2
6. Hirvonen / Lehtinen Ford Focus +1’31’’5
7. H. Solberg / Minor Ford Focus +1’37’’5
8. Wilson / Martin Ford Focus +2’47’’2
9. Villagra / Perez Companc Ford Focus +4’19’’8
10. Block / Gelsomino Ford Focus +4’33’’3

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