Sebastien Loeb leads in Monte Carlo as podium fight closes up
|Saturday, January 21st 2012, 15:34 GMT|
Sebastien Loeb continues to lead the Monte Carlo Rally, while Petter Solberg has begun catching Dani Sordo for second.
Citroen driver Loeb's advantage over the rest of the field grew to two and a half minutes over the first two of Saturday's four stages - the rest of which take place after dark tonight.
In his wake, the podium battle came to life again this afternoon. Loeb's team-mate Mikko Hirvonen won SS14 - his third consecutive fastest time - to get the gap to third-placed Petter Solberg's Ford down to 22.1 seconds, but then lacked confidence on the damp SS15, where Solberg was quickest.
With second-placed Dani Sordo (Mini) less comfortable this afternoon, his advantage over Solberg has come down from 1m06s to 40s in just two stages, though with only three remaining, the Mini still looks safe.
M-Sport Ford pair Evgeny Novikov and Francois Delecour continue to round out the top six despite power steering issues for the latter.
Leading positions after SS15: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 4h00m10.9s 2. Dani Sordo Mini + 2m30.7s 3. Petter Solberg Ford + 3m10.6s 4. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 3m41.1s 5. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 5m13.2s 6. Francois Delecour M-Sport Ford + 6m49.3s 7. Pierre Campana Mini + 8m05.6s 8. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 9m18.0s 9. P-G Andersson Proton + 15m00.4s 10. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 15m22.3s