Petter Solberg has lost his chance of fighting for Rally Mexico victory after losing seven minutes on SS6.
The Norwegian independent Citroen driver was running third behind factory Citroen duo Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier after midday service, and was therefore well-placed to gain ground tomorrow when he would have enjoyed better stage conditions than the two Frenchman once they were first and second on the road.
But Solberg's DS3 suddenly lost power in the final kilometers of the Alfaro stage, limping to the end at almost walking pace and dropping 6m42sec to the leaders – leaving him 7m00sec adrift overall.
"I can't get throttle, nothing. That's bad," said Solberg at the stage finish. "I'm thinking about the championship and trying to get a good start to the season, but it's bad."
Ogier was fastest on the stage and has retaken the rally lead from Loeb by just 0.5sec, but the younger Frenchman remains at risk of being penalized or even excluded for taking a wrong turning and driving straight into service before the scheduled re-group earlier today.
Mikko Hirvonen is now up to third for Ford.