Day 2am: Solberg dominates

In one of the most dominant performances of the season, Petter Solberg won every morning stage on the second leg of the inaugural Rally Japan. The world champion is in brilliant form in the works Subaru and has built himself an imperious 46s lead over Citroen's Sebastien Loeb

Day 2am: Solberg dominates

Solberg came into the Japanese event badly needing a finish after a string of retirements and a huge crash last time out in Germany. Even he admitted that, perhaps, he was lacking just a little in confidence. He started well yesterday but then watched as points leader Loeb closed in on him through the afternoon. This morning however Solberg has been in another class entirely, and what was yesterday an overall lead under threat is now almost an insurmountable advantage.

"I've got a good feeling," said Solberg. "No problems at all. I've been pushing a little bit, but when I get a good split time through, I back off. The system seems to be working and I think I'm able to judge the pace quite well. But, that said, I can't afford to relax. We're not going to make any changes. I'm just going to carry on going as we are and keep the speed."

Loeb lost second place overall on the second stage of the morning (SS11) to double world champion Marcus Gronholm, who initially at least was on a charge. The Finn's Peugeot was for most of the morning Solberg's leading pursuer. But Gronholm was hit with a penalty for jumping the start on SS14 and towards the end of the morning experienced intermittent problems with the 307's development five-speed gearbox, allowing Loeb back up to second.

By the lunchtime service, Gronholm was fifth overall, more than a minute and a half off the overall lead.

Markko Martin's Ford Focus, free of yesterday's shock absorber issues, is third ahead of Citroen's Carlos Sainz. The Estonian driver has built a 15s cushion over the legendary Spaniard through the morning, but is still unhappy with the quality of his pace notes. "It's been difficult again," said Martin. "I don't know what I was thinking when I made some of these notes because they are way too fast - it's not just fine tuning.

"The car feels good and I'm pushing harder than yesterday but I'm doing a lot of driving on what I can see, rather than with the notes."

Francois Duval is sixth in the second Focus ahead of Mikko Hirvonen (Subaru) and Harri Rovenpera (Peugeot). Hirvonen has been setting some competitive times this morning, but he was hit by a minute penalty on SS12 for arriving early at the control point.

There have been remarkably few factory retirements so far in the rally and it seems only a matter of time before trouble hits one of the front-runners. Going by recent form, it's usually Solberg who gets the bad luck, but after this morning's performance, there seems only one guy that can win this event.

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Day 1: Solberg holds off Loeb
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Day 2: Solberg consolidates

Day 2: Solberg consolidates
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