The Citroen Total World Rally Team star began the final day of the event locked in a close battle with team-mate Sebastien Ogier, 10.5s adrift.

Sebastian Loeb wins rally Mexico

But when Ogier crashed on stage 20, Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena moved in front and were able to preserve their advantage until the finish in Leon.

Although they ultimately benefited from Ogier’s retirement, their win was all the more remarkable after they fought back from a 50-second time penalty incurred when they were late starting stage 15 following a gearbox problem.

The victory marked the first triumph for Citroen’s all-new DS3 World Rally Car and was Loeb and Elena’s 63rd success at world championship level on their 140th start in the series.

Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen finished second in their Ford Fiesta RS WRC with team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila third.

Nasser Al-Attiyah and Giovanni Bernacchini have won the Super 2000 World Rally Championship section of the event in their Barwa World Rally Team Fiesta.

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