Meeke conquers 'bogey stage' to stay in Mexico lead

Kris Meeke and his co-driver Paul Nagle of Ireland compete during the third day of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship in Leon, Mexico, on March 11, 2017

Kris Meeke stayed on course for a fourth career victory when he conquered his 'bogey stage' on the Rally of Mexico to extend his overnight lead on Saturday.

The Citroen driver was second on both the Lajas de Oro and El Brinco stages to increase his lead to 23.5sec after 75km of racing in mountains above Leon.

"El Brinco is my bogey stage. I’ve made a few mistakes on these roads in the past and never felt comfortable," said Meeke.

Defending world champion Sebastien Ogier is second overall in his Ford Fiesta as the Frenchman looks to add victory in Mexico to his season-opening triumph in Monte Carlo.

Thierry Neuville in a Hyundai is third ahead of Saturday's remaining stages but a significant 43.6sec adrift of Ogier.

Jari-Matti Latvala, the winner in Sweden last time out, was seventh in his Toyota.

He and Hyundai's Hayden Paddon both suffered punctured rear tyres after hitting rocks.

Later Saturday, Ogier trimmed Meeke's lead to 21.3sec after taking the 12th stage and first of the afternoon session.

"I wouldn't want to drive this one again like that. I did everything I could. A really clean drive, pretty much on the limit,” said Ogier.