Latvala in control heading into final leg in Mexico


Jari-Matti Latvala is poised to win the Rally Mexico after extending his lead during a marathon day.

Latvala was largely unchallenged as he moved one minute, 35.7 seconds clear of Volkswagen team-mate and three-time reigning world champion Sebastian Ogier at the end of SS19 on Saturday.

A total of nine stages over 152.4km faced Latvala and Co. and the Finnish driver passed with flying colours, winning all six gravel speed tests to take control of proceedings in the Mexican mountains.

Latvala then took a back seat for the three remaining spectator stages.

"The feeling in the car was brilliant. The way Miikka [co-driver, Anttila] read the pace notes was perfect," he said ahead of Sunday's final leg in Guanajuato.

"Everything has come together. It's important to have a 1sec/km difference for tomorrow because you can then back off if the tyres or brakes become too hot."

Ogier has seemingly thrown in the towel, after admitting "I'm not really pushing anymore" as he bids to secure second spot.

The Frenchman is one minute, 4.7secs ahead of Hyundai's Dani Sordo.

Mads Ostberg (Ford) jumped up to fourth after Andreas Mikkelsen (Volkswagen) crashed out in the Otates test.