Day 2: Gronholm holds clear lead

Marcus Gronholm has continued his dominance of the Swedish Rally, winning three of the six stages held on the event's second day to establish a 38.8s lead over fellow Finn Tommi Makinen

Day 2: Gronholm holds clear lead

The Finnish pair have pulled clear of Richard Burns, who sits in a lonely third place, 46s ahead of Ford driver Markko Martin.

"Today has been fine, I'm not pushing especially hard over that loop of stages," said Gronholm. "You can never tell exactly what is going to happen but a 30 second lead should be enough."

There was controversy in the aftermath of stage eight, which was stopped after Harri Rovanpera collided with the stricken Peugeot of Juuso Pykalisto. Organisers elected to award Gronholm, Makinen and Burns the fastest stage time (set by Carlos Sainz), whilst the rest of the field that had not completed the stage were given the time achieved by Armin Schwarz, some 17.7s slower.

Several fast drivers running further down the order, including Sebastien Loeb, felt that they had been unfairly penalised by this. "We were very fast, and we were closing in on the other drivers in front of us. But they gave us the slowest average while the others were given the best time."

After a tough opening day, the Citroen squad has rebounded well on day two, with both Colin McRae fighting his way back up the leaderboard after suffering two spins yesterday. Loeb was also on the pace, setting the second fastest time behind Gronholm on SS11. He has now climbed back up to ninth overall.

Another driver on a charge through the field was Petter Solberg. The Norwegian battled to sixth by the end of the day, having been 11th overall after leg one. Toni Gardemeister finished the day seventh in his Skoda, with Citroen's third driver Carlos Sainz rounded out the top eight.

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Day 1: Gronholm holds sway

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