Sebastien Loeb wins Mexican Rally

Updated: March 6, 2011, 2:05 PM ET
Associated Press

MEXICO CITY -- Sebastien Loeb of France beat Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen on Sunday to win the Mexican Rally for the fifth time.

Loeb, a seven-time world champion, moved into first after Citroen teammate Sebastien Ogier crashed out in the first of the final day's three stages. Ogier had led after the opening two days.

Loeb finished 1 minute, 38 seconds ahead of Hirvonen, who won three bonus points by finishing the final stage in Mexico quickest.

"That was a very hard weekend. We've done nearly a perfect weekend," Loeb said. "Some little troubles but not so much with a new car, so I was quite happy for that."

Loeb said he felt sorry for Ogier, who carried a 10-second lead into the final day but broke the front-left wheel of his car in Sunday's opening trial.

"We are teammates but we are also rivals for the championship, and that's the game," Loeb said.

Hirvonen won the opening rally of the season in Sweden in February.

The World Rally Championship consists of 13 events. After two rallies, Hirvonen leads the standings with 46 points.

"It's been a great start. I've just been good old consistent me," Hirvonen said. "I can't really match the Citroens for speed, so I took it steady and I'm really happy with this result."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press