Loeb holds off Solberg after SS11
|By Matt Beer||Saturday, November 13th 2010, 11:55 GMT|
Sebastien Loeb remains locked in battle with Petter Solberg at the head of the field after 11 stages of the Rally of Great Britain.
The two world champions have twice exchanged the lead this morning, as works Citroen driver Loeb completed SS11 just 2.5 seconds ahead of the privateer C4 driver.
Loeb had initially lost his overnight lead to Solberg when he struggled with the slippery conditions on this morning's opening Radnor stage. The world champion then looked set to reclaim first place after Monument Hill, but went straight on at a junction and stalled.
A stage win for Loeb on Four Ways Crychan got him back in front, as Solberg lost ground on the asphalt sections of the stage where Loeb's passage had pulled dirt onto the road. But with Loeb then having a quick spin on Halfway, the gap between them came down once again.
Sebastien Ogier had been right in the thick of this battle until he crashed on Radnor. The Citroen driver does not expect to be able to restart the rally tomorrow and can now only wait to see if Solberg or Jari-Matti Latvala beats him to second in the championship.
Latvala is pushing to recover the time dropped when he punctured a tyre yesterday and is now back up to fourth behind his Ford team-mate Mikko Hirvonen, having passed Citroen Junior's Dani Sordo, another man to have a quick spin this morning.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 1h53m17.3s 2. Petter Solberg Citroen + 2.5s 3. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 1m02.5s 4. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 1m13.7s 5. Dani Sordo Citroen + 1m20.1s 6. Henning Solberg Ford + 3m51.3s 7. Matthew Wilson Ford + 4m55.4s 8. Mads Ostberg Subaru + 5m26.5s 9. Kimi Raikkonen Citroen + 6m28.9s 10. Ken Block Ford + 7m50.9s