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WRC Mexico: Latvala grabs first win of 2016

2016-03-07 12:10

FIRST WIN OF 2016: Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala (R) and co-driver Miikka Anttila celebrate their victory in the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship in Guanajuato, Mexico. Image: AFP / Ronaldo Schemidt


Rally Sweden kicks off on Thursday, with controversy marring the event after World champion Sebastien Ogier blasted organisers as "idiots" after the race had eight stages cut due to lack of snow and rising temperatures.

Len, Mexico - Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala clinched his maiden Mexican rally title on Sunday (March 6) as well as his first points of the season, finishing ahead of Volkswagen teammate and world champion Sebastien Ogier.

Latvala had gone pointless in the season's first two rounds in Monte Carlo and Sweden, which were won by Ogier, but he dominated in Mexico, winning 11 of the 21 stages.

Ogier finished one minute and five seconds behind with Spain's Dani Sordo in a Hyundai finishing third, more than two and a half minutes off the pace.

"It's a superb feeling. The start of this year's championship was so complicated that I didn't feel well mentally," said Latvala.

"So it's even more welcome that I can win this race where I have rarely shone."

Ogier had virtually surrendered victory on Saturday (March 30), claiming that he and his teammate were taking part in different events.

The Frenchman's frustration wasn't helped by having to start stages from the front of the pack and, as a result, acting as a 'sweeper' on the Mexican race's notoriously dusty tracks.

Ogier said: "It was a very good rally as I have said already. I couldn't have done better."

The triple world champion still leads the standings with 77 points with Norwegian duo Mads Ostberg (39 points) and Andreas Mikkelsen (33) in second and third respectively.

Watch: WRC Mexico highlights


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