Day 2am: Solberg flying

Subaru's Petter Solberg maintained his dominance of the Supermag Rally Italia Sardinia on Saturday when he set the fastest time on the morning's three stages to comprehensively extend his advantage at the front of the field

Day 2am: Solberg flying

Solberg is bidding to keep himself in the hunt for the world championship this weekend and, after ending the first day with a 30-second lead over Marcus Gronholm, his advantage had nearly doubled to 55-seconds at the end of stage nine with Gronholm appearing to hit trouble.

Gronholm's disaster, having been Solberg's closest challenger up until stage nine, has left title leader Sebastien Loeb in second place - 55.1 seconds behind, with Carlos Sainz third overall.

The day had got off to the perfect start for Solberg as he outpaced Gronholm by 5.2 seconds on the 28.62km Sas Molas stage, with Loeb taking the third quickest time. Solberg maintained his speed through the short 9.06km Le Sughere stage to once again outpace Gronholm, although this time by just two seconds.

As Solberg set the quickest time overall on the 34.20km Tandalo stage, it all went wrong for Gronholm as he disappeared to the bottom of the time-sheets - completing the stage more than 23 minutes slower than Solberg which puts him out of contention for a leading position.

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Day 1: Solberg consolidates

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