Citroen Duo Under Team Orders

The fight for victory for the Rally Deutschland appears to be over, after Sebastien Loeb revealed that team orders have been imposed by Citroen

Citroen Duo Under Team Orders

Loeb currently holds a 26.3 seconds lead over teammate Francois Duval, but Loeb says that after he and the Belgian battled hard for the lead yesterday, they have now been told to back off and hold station to protect a maximum points haul in the manufacturers' Championship. The pair have a comfortable one-and-a half minute lead over the next best car of Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm

Although Loeb has a commanding position in the drivers' standings, Peugeot entered the rally with a one-point advantage over their French counterparts with five rounds to go.

The news comes after Francois Duval cut away at Sebastien Loeb's lead after the Belgian won SS10. Loeb had taken SS9.

Loeb said: "We are comfortable, and the team says this is how we are going to finish. We were fighting yesterday and today, but it is now more important to finish like this for Citroen in the manufacturers Championship.

"This morning I tried to adjust my rhythm because yesterday I was pushing very hard."

Gronholm continues to hold third over teammate Markko Martin, but can only hope for misfortune for the Citroen drivers if they are to finish any higher.

Daniel Sola continues to impress in his privateer Ford Focus securing the third best time behind the Citroens on SS10. He has moved up to fifth ahead of Mitsubishi works driver Gig Galli and Ford Factory driver Roman Kresta.

Armin Schwarz, who announced this weekend he will retire from the sport at the end of the season, is out of the event with engine failure. He retired after the end of SS8 from eighth. Subaru's second driver Stephane Sarrazin, has inherited the position after passing Mitsubishi's Harri Rovanpera. It is a superb comeback for the Frenchman after yesterday's problems where he lost more than two minutes when he had to be helped back onto the road by spectators after going off.

Petter Solberg could yet finish in the points, after his gearbox was hastily repaired at service earlier. Having driven through SS8 with only third gear, he now lies in tenth only 13 seconds behind teammate Sarrazin.

Leading Ford driver Toni Gardemeister will need some misfortune from drivers ahead if he is to maintain his run on scoring on every event this season. The Finn has got going again after the electrical problems that blighted his run through SS8, but is 18 minutes down on the points paying positions.

Top 20 leaderboard after SS10:

Pos  Driver      Make        Time
 1.  Loeb        Citroen     2h 7:59.1
 2.  Duval       Citroen     +    26.3
 3.  Gronholm    Peugeot     +  1:31.3
 4.  Martin      Peugeot     +  3:20.6
 5.  Sola        Ford        +  4:01.1
 6.  Galli       Mitsubishi  +  4:11.7
 7.  Kresta      Ford        +  4:31.4
 8.  Sarrazin    Subaru      +  6:43.1
 9.  Rovanpera   Mitsubishi  +  6:45.5
10.  Solberg     Subaru      +  6:55.8
11.  Pons        Citroen     +  6:59.7
12.  Kopecky     Skoda       +  7:12.7
13.  Atkinson    Subaru      +  8:49.4
14.  Sordo       Citroen     + 12:53.8
15.  Meeke       Citroen     + 13:13.5
16.  Andersson   Suzuki      + 16:26.0
17.  Wilks       Suzuki      + 16:50.1
18.  Katajamaki  Suzuki      + 17:06.3
19.  Gassner     Mitsubishi  + 17:08.2
20.  Betti       Renault     + 19:41.8
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