Day 2: Martin dominates but Loeb still leads

Markko Martin won all four of the stages on the second day of the Sanremo Rally, but was unable to make much impact into Sebastien Loeb's lead. The Citroen star will head into the final day 43.2s ahead of his Ford rival, and is looking certain to take victory.

Day 2: Martin dominates but Loeb still leads

After blitzing the opening two stages this morning (Saturday), Martin stayed on form this afternoon, although Loeb was second fastest on both occasions. The Estonian took 2s out of the Frenchman's lead on SS9, and reduced the margin by 6.9s on the final stage of the day. Chances are that Loeb could run faster if he needed to, but Martin will surely be ruing the 30s time penalty he received this morning - without which he would be just over 13s behind Loeb.

"Do you think it's impossible to catch me?" asked Loeb. "I hope so, but there is still a lot to do. I've been trying to drive with caution."

Marcus Gronholm continued his impressive asphalt performance with third fastest on SS9 and fourth on SS10. Although he has now dropped nearly 30s behind Martin, he has a 32.3s advantage over Carlos Sainz in fourth, and looks set to claim an impressive podium finish.

The top runners have all become somewhat spread out over the course of the day, with Sainz making little impression on Gronholm, but increasing his advantage over Gilles Panizzi in sixth to 16.8s. In turn, the Peugeot driver has pulled 24.7s ahead of Francois Duval, who enjoys a cushion of nearly a minute to Colin McRae.

Phillipe Bugalski is equally lonely in eighth, but a genuine battle can be found behind him, with Richard Burns battling the private Peugeot of Cedric Robert. Both of the drivers moved ahead of Tommi Makkinen over the final two stages of the day, and now sit ninth and 10th respectively. Burns gained an advantage over Robert in SS9, but the Frenchman took 4.6s out of his lead on SS10, and is just 4.4s behind heading into the final day.

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Day 2am: Martin hit by penalty

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