Loeb, Elena and Aussie Atkinson dominate in Mexico
Just as was the case in Monte Carlo, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena stamped their authority on the Rally Mexico stages with their CitroÃ«n C4 WRC running on Pirelli Scorpion tyres. Behind them was Chris Atkinson's Subaru Impreza WRC, after an excellent rally that saw the young Australian claim his best-ever WRC finish. Third place went to the factory Ford Focus WRC of Jari-Matti Latvala. For the new Pirelli Scorpion gravel tyres, it was more than just a positive debut.
Loeb and Elena in CitroÃ«n C4 running on Pirelli Scorpion tyres
Jari-Matti Latvala in Ford Focus ( picture 2)
"To tell the truth, there's not much to say as the Pirelli Scorpion tyres worked very well for me here; end of story." As well as being a notable talent behind the wheel, Sebastien Loeb is also straight to the point - as his positive comment about Pirelli's new gravel tyres at the end of the rally shows.
CitroÃ«n's reigning World Champion was able to comfortably dictate the pace, having established a safe cushion over the Subaru Impreza WRC of Atkinson-PrÃ©vot. The Australian's second place in Mexico was the best result of his WRC career, and he shared the podium with Jari-Matti Latvala: one more star of this event. Together with his co-driver Mikka Anttila, the Swedish Rally winner racked up another solid result. Along with a fourth place for Hirvonen-Lehtinen, this means that the factory Ford team has reinforced its grip on the lead of the WRC manufacturers' championship while Hirvonen maintains the lead of the drivers' championship by one point over Sebastien Loeb.
Loeb's co-driver, Daniel Elena, underlined the fact that "the Pirelli tyres worked well, and they were able to cope with even the sharp rocks towards the end of the rally, so there's not much more to say - particularly as we have won." Chris Atkinson, finishing on the podium with his Subaru for the second time in three rallies, remembered: "the massive impact with a 40-kilogram rock at the beginning of the rally, which damaged neither our car nor our Scorpion tyres."
The factory Ford Focus WRCs of Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen followed Atkinson's Subaru home, while three more Focuses occupied fifth, sixth and seventh places - thanks to Henning Solberg, Matthew Wilson and Federico Villagra. The final points-scoring place was claimed by Petter Solberg in the other factory Subaru Impreza WRC.
Peter Tyson, Pirelli's Motorsport Marketing Director, pronounced himself "very satisfied with the results of the Scorpion tyre's debut in Mexico. They overcame an extremely tough test, running on stages that were littered with sharp stones, in high temperatures, and with a very rapid pace from all the CitroÃ«n, Subaru and Ford drivers. The praise our tyres have received from both drivers and team managers is very satisfying for all of us, and it provides yet another demonstration of the qualities of our new Pirelli tyres."