Rally Mexico joy for Latvala


Jari-Matti Latvala put a dismal start to the World Rally Championship season behind him by winning in Mexico on Sunday.

The Finn failed to register a solitary point in the first two rounds of the year, which were won by his Volkswagen team-mate and reigning champion Sebastien Ogier.

But Latvala was not to be denied in the opening gravel race of the campaign, winning the Rally Mexico by one minute and five seconds from Ogier.

Ogier has a 38-point lead over Mads Ostberg in the championship standings after taking the runner-up spot and winning three bonus point for coming out on top in the in the final Power Stage, with Hyundai's Dani Sordo finishing the four-day race in third spot 

Andreas Mikkelsen moves down a place to third in the standings after he retired from the race as a result of a crash on Saturday.

Latvala held a lead in excess of 90 seconds with two stages remaining on the final day and that proved to be too much for Ogier to claw back.

Ogier was able to reduce the gap by 25.3secs by setting the pace over the marathon 80-kilometre Guanajuato stage in the mountains above Leon despite brake issues.

But Latvala, who also endured problems with his brakes, had a big enough cushion to take into the final 16.47km stage where he finished second to seal victory.

Ostberg missed out on a podium finish after the Norwegian was back in fourth, with Hayden Paddon fifth.