Argentina WRC: Sebastien Loeb takes comfortable lead into Saturday
|Friday, May 3rd 2013, 22:35 GMT|
Sebastien Loeb will start the final day of Rally Argentina with a 39.8-second lead over Sebastien Ogier.
A mistake on SS7 and puncture on SS8 left Ogier half a minute adrift of Loeb and convinced him to settle for second place.
Ogier's Volkswagen outpaced Loeb's Citroen by half a second in their head-to-head on the evening superspecial that closed Friday's action, but that made scant impact on the overall standings.
The closest battle on Saturday is likely to be for third position.
Evgeny Novikov holds the place overnight following the multiple dramas of stage nine, but Jari-Matti Latvala's Volkswagen - earlier delayed by a puncture - is just 8.2s adrift having set the pace on the superspecial.
Mikko Hirvonen needs problems elsewhere to make progress from the sixth place he was left in after his puncture and electronic problems on Friday afternoon. He is three minutes behind fifth-placed Thierry Neuville and four minutes in front of Mads Ostberg in seventh.
Andreas Mikkelsen will return under Rally2 on Saturday morning still in the top 10 despite his penalties for the stages missed after he damaged his suspension in an impact with a bridge on Friday afternoon.
The Norwegian is classified ninth, just ahead of Dani Sordo, as both prepare to hunt down Martin Prokop.
Leading positions after SS10: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 3h32m15.9s 2. Sebastien Ogier VW + 39.8s 3. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 2m43.3s 4. Jari-Matti Latvala VW + 2m51.5s 5. Thierry Neuville M-Sport Ford + 3m32.5s 6. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 6m43.3s 7. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Ford + 10m40.6s 8. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 12m13.9s 9. Andreas Mikkelsen VW + 12m45.6s 10. Dani Sordo Citroen + 13m04.1s