Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland driving his Volkswagen Polo R in Day Two of the Rally Mexico 2014 from Guanajuato to Leon, Mexico on Saturday. - EPA
LEON (Mexico) AFP: World champion Sebastien Ogier built up a commanding lead in the Rally of Mexico on Saturday, winning five of the day's special stages and finishing second in the remaining two.
Ogier took his Volkswagen into the day with a slender 26-second advantage over Nowegian Mads Ostberg, but Ostberg's involvement came to an abrupt end when he suffered a broken suspension in his Citroen.
By the end of the day, Ogier was a minute ahead of team-mate and world championship leader Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland.
Hyundai's Thierry Neuville was in third but was more than four-and-a-half minutes off the lead.
With only Sunday to go, barring accidents Ogier looks almost certain to win the race for the second year running.
"We had a bit of a scare on the 14th special, but we got away with it," Ogier said. "I hit a rock which it was impossible to avoid, but these things happen in rallying."
Ostberg's challenge unravelled when his Citroen hit a bank on the opening 30.33km stage and broke the rear left suspension.
He attempted to repair the damage but eventually was forced to give up on his race hopes.
"I took a sharp right-hand bend too fast and hit the embankment and broke the suspension," a philosophical Ostberg explained. "It was all my own fault."