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Sebastien Loeb close to victory in Rally of Spain

Sebastien Loeb, Citroen, Catalunya 2011Sebastien Loeb remains on course for victory in the Rally of Spain, having brought his lead over Jari-Matti Latvala back up to 31.1 seconds with three stages to go.

The champion's only stage win this morning came on Coll de la Teixeta, which is also used as the bonus points power stage at the end of the rally. With Loeb (Citroen) currently in a joint championship lead with Mikko Hirvonen, he is keen to maximise his score by winning the televised stage as well as the rally itself.

Latvala is likely to have to hand his second place to Ford team-mate Hirvonen, who took his first stage win of a low-key weekend on La Mussara. The Ford drivers are 1m22s apart in second and third.

Dani Sordo had a scare with a left rear puncture on his Mini on La Mussara, but his fourth place stayed safe as he is still 36.8s clear of Citroen's Sebastien Ogier, who was quickest on today's first stage.

Leading positions after SS15:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car        Time/Gap
 1.  Sebastien Loeb      Citroen       3h35m51.3s
 2.  Jari-Matti Latvala  Ford             + 31.1s
 3.  Mikko Hirvonen      Ford           + 1m53.5s
 4.  Dani Sordo          Mini           + 3m02.3s
 5.  Sebastien Ogier     Citroen        + 3m39.1s
 6.  Kris Meeke          Mini           + 4m42.9s
 7.  Mads Ostberg        Stobart Ford   + 5m33.8s
 8.  Henning Solberg     Stobart Ford   + 8m31.3s
 9.  Evgeny Novikov      CRT Citroen    + 8m54.2s
10.  Matthew Wilson      Stobart Ford  + 10m09.0s
Daytona Competition
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