Xevi Pons battles to scoop S-WRC victory in Corona Rally México
After a rollercoaster three days in Corona Rally México, Xavier Pons steered his Ford Fiesta to victory in his first round in the 2010 FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship navigated by fellow Spaniard Alex Bravo.

After the retirement in SS6 of Michal Koscuiszko who had stormed into the lead winning four of the first five stages on Day One, Pons finished the day in first position with a lead of 8.2 seconds over second place Martin Prokop (CZE). The opening day of Corona Rally México had proved gruelling for Prokop himself after he hit a speed bump in SS3, severely damaging his Ford Fiesta and finished the day suffocated by fuel fumes and with a migraine and nausea.

Day Two and the return of Koscuiszko saw the three Ford Fiestas continue to battle it out at the front of the class. However, despite claiming another four stage wins on the morning of Day Two, Koscuiszko frustratingly once again fell out of contention when he had to stop in SS14 and dropped to fifth place. Meanwhile, clutch problems plagued the day for Pons and allowed Prokop to edge into the lead by 4.8 seconds.

Nonetheless, failing to be disheartened, Pons came back on Day Three to win SS19 and put in consistently strong times, stealing back the class victory from Prokop and winning the S-WRC by 17.6 seconds. Despite both Day One and Day Two knock backs, Koscuiszko ended the event in third place, pleased to be on the podium following his first event in his new Ford Fiesta.

Despite a strong first two days leaving him a clear third in the S-WRC, engine problems following SS18 led to Nasser Al-Attiyah (QTR) retiring from the category, his hopes of taking any points home from his first rally of the season shattered.

1st – Xavier Pons (ESP): “I am super happy! This was all new for me, with a new car, new tyres, new team and only a short test before the event. But we took the victory! It gives me great confidence for the Championship and winning the 2010 S-WRC is what I will be pushing for.”

2nd – Martin Prokop (CZE): “This was a perfect rally and I am very happy with the result. We had a chance to claim the victory, but Xevi [Pons] was very fast and I resisted the temptation to push too hard because this is still a new car and we did not want to risk retirement.”

3rd – Michal Koscuiszko (POL): “After all the adventures we had this weekend, it is a success to be on the podium. Winning nine stages gave me great confidence in the car and for the Championship. We could have won even more if we hadn’t had any problems, but we’re happy with third in our first rally of the season.”

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