Leg Two Clean Sweep for Loeb

Sebastien Loeb finished off his clean sweep of stage victories in Leg Two of the Acropolis Rally by topping the timesheets for all four of the afternoon stages

Leg Two Clean Sweep for Loeb

The result meant that Loeb had the staggering achievement of winning all eight stages of Leg Two, and now holds a commanding one and a half minute lead.

With such a large lead, Loeb can afford to ease off tomorrow, as he attempts to further extend his Championship lead by taking his sixth victory from eight rallies this season.

Loeb's pace on was flattered by problems hitting his main contender Marcus Gronholm. The Peugeot driver hit driveshaft problems on SS13 and lost more than two minutes more to Loeb on the last three stages of the day. It meant Gronholm dropped to fourth position, a total of 2m 44.1s down on the Frenchman.

The battle for second place behind Loeb is much closer, with only 7.7 seconds separating Ford's Toni Gardemeister, and Loeb's Citroen teammate Carlos Sainz.

Gardemeister had started the day 3.7 seconds behind Sainz, but was runner-up to Loeb on the last three stages of the day. It was enough for Gardemeister to overhaul double-World Champion Sainz on SS13.

Mikko Hirvonen has managed to hold onto fifth and resisted the might of Mitsubishi's Harri Rovanpera. Despite Hirvonen suffering the same downshifting problems as he had suffered yesterday on the last corner of S11 he extended his advantage over Rovenpera to 26.9 seconds, having been as close as 6.6 seconds after SS12.

Mitsubishi's Gigi Galli took back seventh from Peugeot's Markko Martin on SS13. The gap is between the pair is down to one second however, and could be one of the battles to watch as the rally nears its end.

Ford's Henning Solberg had held the seventh for the most of the morning, however he crashed into a tree halfway through SS11. It is not known whether the Norwegian will restart tomorrow.

Solberg's former world-Championship winning brother Petter put yesterday's nightmare behind him and started his climb up the leaderboard. After ending Leg One in 14th place following driveshaft problems and off stage excursions, the Norwegian rose to ninth place. However he is now more than five minutes off title rival Loeb.

Skoda factory driver Janne Tuohino did not re-start the rally despite the damage that forced his Fabia WRC out yesterday proving not too serious. The team has chosen to preserve the engine in the Finn's car for a future event. Subaru took a similar decision for their Australian driver Chris Atkinson.

Top 20 Leaderboard after Leg Two:

Pos Driver Team Time 1. Loeb Citroen 2h54:28.8 2. Gardemeister Ford + 1:24.6 3. Sainz Citroen + 1:32.3 4. Gronholm Peugeot + 2:44.1 5. Hirvonen Ford + 2:50.3 6. Rovanpera Mitsubishi + 3:17.2 7. Galli Mitsubishi + 3:54.4 8. Martin Peugeot + 4:19.6 9. Solberg Subaru + 5:27.3 10. Johansson Subaru + 5:32.4 11. Sohlberg Subaru + 6:03.6 12. Pons Citroen + 6:19.8 13. Vovos Subaru + 9:15.3 14. Sarrazin Subaru + 13:43.7 15. Carlsson Subaru + 15:50.9 16. Andersson Suzuki + 19:54.8 17. Higgins Ford + 22:04.2 18. Hatzitsopanis Mitsubishi + 23:33.1 19. Aava Suzuki + 23:41.9 20. Wilks Suzuki + 23:45.5 
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