Sebastien Loeb in charge after second day of Monte Carlo Rally
|Thursday, January 19th 2012, 16:30 GMT|
Sebastien Loeb continues to dominate the Monte Carlo Rally at the end of the second day.
The world champion's run of fastest stage times was interrupted by Mini's Dani Sordo on SS8, but the Spaniard was only 0.2 seconds quicker than Loeb, whose lead is now 1m37s.
Sordo holds second at the end of the day, and is still in an ultra-close battle with Ford's Petter Solberg. They continued swapping positions this afternoon, and are just three seconds apart at present.
The big news of the second Thursday loop was the end of Sebastien Ogier's spectacular giantkilling run. In today's dry conditions it had been harder for Ogier to keep his S2000 Skoda among the World Rally Cars, and he had slipped back to sixth behind Mikko Hirvonen (Citroen) and Evgeny Novikov (M-Sport Ford), but the Frenchman was optimistic he could fight back if snow arrived later in the week. In the event, Ogier crashed heavily on today's final stage and retired. Following crews reported that Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were unhurt.
Ogier's departure moves Francois Delecour's M-Sport Ford into the top six behind Hirvonen and Novikov, who are split by just 11s as Novikov continues to impress on his Monte Carlo debut.
Leading positions after SS10: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 2h45m56.9s 2. Dani Sordo Mini + 1m37.2s 3. Petter Solberg Ford + 1m40.9s 4. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 3m40.4s 5. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 3m51.5s 6. Francois Delecour M-Sport Ford + 5m19.9s 7. Pierre Campana Mini + 6m49.6s 8. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 7m00.6s 9. P-G Andersson Proton + 10m08.9s 10. Kevin Abbring VW Skoda + 10m31.4s