Sebastien Ogier has taken his second 2018 World Rally Championship victory at an action-packed Rally Mexico, in an event where many of his rivals struggled to get through unscathed.
The M-Sport driver now leads the championship despite beginning the weekend running second on the road and disadvantaged by his road sweeping position, finishing Friday in fifth.
But punctures for early rally leaders Dani Sordo and Sebastien Loeb on Saturday morning allowed Ogier to move to the top of the standings, with Loeb losing over two minutes changing the damaged tyre.
Sordo recovered to finish in second place, 1m13.6s behind Ogier after a roll for Kris Meeke on Sunday morning dropped the Northern Irishman into third.
Andreas Mikkelsen finished in fourth after struggling all weekend to find his rhythm in the Hyundai on the slippery event. A stall after hitting the banking interrupted his Sunday, although he did enough to finish +46.2s ahead of fifth-placed WRC returnee Sebastien Loeb.
In his first time in the Citroen WRC car for three years, Loeb took two stage wins, briefly leading the rally on Saturday morning.
Rally Sweden winner Thierry Neuville suffered from a myriad of spins, slides and punctures, battling to the finish to take sixth, although it wasn’t enough to stop a dominant Ogier reclaiming the championship lead.
Pontus Tidemand took WRC2 victory for Skoda, as well as seventh in the overall classification, with fellow WRC2 competitors Gus Greensmith and Pedro Heller also in the top ten.
Toyota struggled with engine issues in the heat and altitude of Mexico, with Jari-Matti Latvala the highest placed driver, surviving Saturday evening’s alternator problem to finish in eighth.
Esapekka Lappi was unable to get back on the road after careering into a ditch on the second running of El Chocolate although the Finn continued under Rally2, ending the weekend just outside of the points, along with Teemu Suninen and Ott Tanak who had similarly issue-strewn weekends.
Tanak claimed the Power Stage win and took a haul of five championship points.