Sebastien Ogier of France celebrates his victory in the Rally of Mexico. - EPA
LEON (Mexico) AFP: World champion Sebastien Ogier won the Rally of Mexico on Sunday, the third round of this year's title series.
The Volkswagen Polo driver, who also won in Mexico last year, finished over a minute ahead of teammate Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland.
Belgian driver Thierry Neuville, in a Hyundai, was third, over five minutes off the pace.
It was Hyundai's first podium place.
Ogier's victory was even sweeter when his win on the 8.25km power-stage, the 22nd overall of the race, gave him a maximum 28 points and allowed him to take the overall lead in the championship with a three-point edge over Latvala.
Ogier had led in Mexico after the first two stages before Mads Ostberg briefly took charge in a Citroen.
But once the French driver regained the lead on the seventh stage, he was never threatened especially once Ostberg had been forced to surrender his victory hopes with a broken suspension.
Ogier finished with 14 of the 22 stages as he claimed an 18th career win and second of the year after the season-opening Rally of Monte Carlo.
"I have a superb car and a great team," said Ogier. "The Polo is strong and quick and we have been doing very good work.
"We push when we have to and then control the race. It's an event I like."