Sebastien Loeb stretched further away from his Rally Mexico opposition on the first of three loops of Saturday stages.
Although the World Rally Champion was only third quickest on the opening Ibarrilla stage, that performance spurred him to respond on the following 41-kilometer Otates, where Loeb was quickest by 5.5 seconds over Ibarrilla pacesetter Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford). That gives Loeb an 18.2sec cushion back to his Citroen teammate Mikko Hirvonen as they continue to dominate the overall standings.
Latvala was quickest on Ibarrilla, which brought him up to third place ahead of Mads Ostberg, as the Adapta Ford driver struggled for visibility in the rising sun. Although Latvala comfortably pulled away from Ostberg, he remains 1m25.6s off the lead.
The second works Ford of Petter Solberg is now lining up to challenge Ostberg for fourth, but the former champion struggled on Otates and dropped a few seconds to his Norwegian countryman.
Ott Tanak is still sixth ahead of M-Sport Ford teammate Evgeny Novikov, despite spinning on the long stage.
Leading positions after SS14:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 2h13m15.5s
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 18.2s
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 1m25.6s
4. Mads Ostberg Adapta Ford + 2m00.6s
5. Petter Solberg Ford + 2m09.9s
6. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 2m42.7s
7. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 3m41.1s
8. Chris Atkinson Monster Ford + 4m22.2s
9. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar Citroen + 4m43.9s
10. Armindo Araujo Portugal Mini + 6m51.4s