Day 3am: Marcus resists the pressure

Marcus Gronholm has resisted pressure from fellow Finn Tommi Makinen, and has edged his lead in the Swedish Rally to 39.7s with just two stages to run

Day 3am: Marcus resists the pressure

Makinen was hopeful of fighting back against Gronholm this morning, and set the fastest time on SS13. However, Gronholm instantly fought back, taking victory on the very next stage, and then edging his lead further over SS15.

Colin McRae set the fastest time on SS15, his first stage win of the event. After a charge through the field following a series of spins on day 1, he is just under 15s behind Markko Martin in fourth place.

The Scot's Citroen team-mate, Sebastien Loeb, continues to suffer frustrations in his attempt to climb up the field after a disastrous opening day. Yesterday, he felt he was harshly treated after being given a nominal time following the cancellation of SS8, and today he lost over 20s after slowing excessively to avoid the crashed Ford of Janne Tuohino.

"I saw lots of spectators waving me down in the stage, so I slowed right down, after what happened yesterday with Rovanpera," said the Frenchman. "I came round a corner and saw Tuohino off the road, but he was a long way away and there was no danger. So I slowed down because I thought there was another accident, but there wasn't. I lost a lot of time - maybe 20 seconds."

Richard Burns continues his lonely drive to third, half a minute behind Makinen but 45s ahead of Martin. Petter Solberg is running in sixth, ahead of Skoda driver Toni Gardemeister and the third Citroen of Carlos Sainz.

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Day 2: Gronholm holds clear lead

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