Sebastien Loeb keeps Acropolis Rally lead despite puncture
||Sunday, May 27th 2012, 09:34 GMT
Sebastien Loeb remains in the Acropolis Rally lead despite having to stop and change a puncture on SS20.
The Citroen driver's advantage over second-placed team-mate Mikko Hirvonen has come down from 2m01s to 40s with two stages to go.
Loeb said his big lead convinced him it was better to stop and change the wheel rather than risk further damage driving on a flat.
"I had a puncture, I don't know where [it happened]," said Loeb. "Afer three kilometres I said to [co-driver] Daniel [Elena] 'it's a puncture'. So we decided to change the wheel because it was impossible to finish the stage properly and not to break anything.
"So I changed immediately and I pushed afterwards. I knew that I had a good lead and that we could do it safely without taking big risks, so that's what we have done."
Hirvonen said he was not informed about Loeb's problem and had been driving very conservatively through the stage, which he finished 17s slower than pacesetter Jari-Matti Latvala.
"I've been saving my tyres through the whole stage to make sure I have good tyres for the power stage," said Hirvonen. "We'll see what the situation is."
Latvala was running four minutes off the lead in third after a mistake caused a puncture and brake damage on Saturday afternoon, and admitted it was frustrating to see Loeb in trouble at a time when Ford could not capitalise.
"It's very, very frustrating when you see a situation like this and you can't keep fighting anymore," Latvala said.