Sebastien Loeb is now set for an easy Rally Mexico win after Sebastien Ogier went off the road on the opening stage of the final day.
Ogier had been defending a 10.5-second lead over Citroen teammate Loeb going into today's decisive three stages, but had to push hard as he was running first on the road. Citroen had insisted that no team orders would be applied and its drivers were free to fight.
Loeb was marginally quicker at the opening splits, and Ogier then went off halfway through the stage. The Citroen team confirmed that he had crashed out and the car was too damaged to continue.
"For sure I was not happy to see him there," said Loeb. "It's not so nice to have to push between teammates, for the team and everything, but for me it was my job to push. I'm fighting for my championship so I had to push him. I wanted to fight."
Ogier's retirement should elevate the Fords of Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala to the podium spots behind Loeb, who will lead by nearly two minutes with two stages to go.