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Argentina WRC: Sebastien Loeb cruising towards victory

Sebastien Loeb WRC 2013Sebastien Loeb is cruising towards an eighth Rally Argentina victory with Sebastien Ogier having backed right off.

The gap between Loeb's Citroen and Ogier's Volkswagen is now up to 1m06.9s with just two stages to go.

Having lost time with a puncture and an error on Friday, Ogier decided to let Loeb go as his arch-rival is not a championship threat this year.

That allowed both Frenchmen to take it easy through Saturday's opening loop.

But behind them, the battle for the final podium spot still rages.

VW's Jari-Matti Latvala took both stage victories as he attempts to get third place back from Evgeny Novikov's M-Sport Ford following a Friday puncture.

Novikov was only 0.9s shy of Latvala's pace on the opening Mina Clavero stage, despite his Ford's engine refusing to engage stage mode, leaving him struggling for throttle response.

But Latvala was comfortably faster on El Condor and is now only 3.4s behind.

The only other changes affecting the leading drivers are among the Rally2 returnees at the foot of the top 10, where Dani Sordo has got ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen for ninth as both close on Martin Prokop.

Leading positions after SS12:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car        Time/Gap
 1.  Sebastien Loeb      Citroen       4h04m09.1s
 2.  Sebastien Ogier     VW             + 1m06.9s
 3.  Evgeny Novikov      M-Sport Ford   + 2m33.5s
 4.  Jari-Matti Latvala  VW             + 2m36.9s
 5.  Thierry Neuville    M-Sport Ford   + 4m19.1s
 6.  Mikko Hirvonen      Citroen        + 6m37.6s
 7.  Mads Ostberg        M-Sport Ford  + 10m57.5s
 8.  Martin Prokop       Czech Ford    + 13m17.4s
 9.  Dani Sordo          Citroen       + 13m21.3s
10.  Andreas Mikkelsen   VW            + 13m25.3s
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Loeb wraps up Argentina victory
Loeb takes secure lead into final day
Loeb breaks away from Ogier
Ogier says he won't chase Loeb
Loeb takes lead after Ogier mistake
Loeb not giving up on catching Ogier
Ogier pulls away in Argentina
Loeb adopting Hirvonen's style
Door a factor in Sordo crash
Ogier leads from Citroens in Argentina
Loeb says he is feeling no pressure
Ogier free to fight with Loeb
Ogier on top after superspecial
Latvala elects to run last in Argentina
Latvala fastest in Argentina qualifying