GUY Wilks leads the junior world rally championship standings after going fastest in his class across the first two stages of the Rally of Mexico.

The Darlington driver beat Suzuki team-mate and defending junior champion Per-Gunnar Andersson on both stages to lead the Swede by 26secs in the overall JWRC rankings and what's more put himself ahead of reigning world rally champion Sebastien Loeb.

Wilks is in 15th place overall, while Loeb, who suffered impact damage when he left the road on stage two, is a place further down.

Petter Solberg set the early pace among the WRC drivers as the Subaru driver topped the times after the first two stages.

The Norwegian continued where he left off following his victory in Sweden last month as he was quickest across stage one and second fastest across stage two in the new 2005-spec Subaru, which is making its debut on the event.

Solberg heads the leaderboard by 5.1seconds from the Peugeot of Marcus Gronholm after the Finn won stage two, beating Solberg by just two seconds.

Citroen driver Francois Duval occupies third place overall after the Belgian finished fourth on stage one before improving to end up third on stage two.

Duval's team-mate Loeb had looked promising in the opening stage as he finished second. But the Frenchman's accident left him over two minutes down on Gronholm's stage-winning time.

Published: 12/03/2005