Kris Meeke claims Rally Mexico victory despite late drama

Great Britain's Kris Meeke has won Rally Mexico, despite the Citroen driver leaving the road with just one kilometre remaining in the final stage and ending up in a auto park. The Northern Ireland driver nearly threw away victory when he crashed off the road into a spectator auto park of 750 meters ahead of the finish line.

He then had to slalom his way past parked vehicles as well as spectators in order to regain his place on the dirt road racing surface, bursting through a hedge in the process. I'm a lucky boy.

"After a jump, I took a hit". Meeke clinched his fourth career win, while Citroen marked its first win of the season in Mexico.

Meeke was pleased, too, he was able to go head-to-head with serial victor Ogier through the Saturday stages, on equal terms, and beat him; indeed it was the champion who cracked, his spin on stage 13 allowing the Dungannon driver to double the lead to 40 seconds. I finally made my way between the cars but had punctured the front left tyre. "I knew we hadn't done a bad job - it was just we got our preparations wrong for the conditions in the first two rounds", he said.

Ogier, who won the season-opener in Monte Carlo, took over the lead in the world championship from Finland's Toyota driver Jari-Matti Latvala who was only sixth in Mexico. That's certainly one way to finish a rally.

The eventual victor started the day 30.9 seconds clear of his nearest rival and extended that advantage when he took the penultimate stage.

The fourth round of the chamionship will take place in Corsica from April 7-9.

  • Julie Sanders