Loeb a Minute Ahead After 2 Days

World Champion Sebastien Loeb stretched his lead at the Rally of Italy to almost a minute on Saturday, leaving Championship leader Petter Solberg in his wake

Loeb a Minute Ahead After 2 Days

At the end of Saturday's second leg, Frenchman Loeb had a lead of 55.2 seconds over Norwegian Solberg and is in a commanding position for Sunday's final day of action.

Solberg has just a single point lead over Loeb in the overall drivers' standings.

Loeb, driving a Citroen, took the first stage of the morning on the island of Sardinia, but Norway's Solberg got the better of him in his Subaru on the rocky and rutted course of the 38 km Tandalo stage.

The short Lovia Avra section was won by Italian Gigi Galli with Solberg second and Loeb third but the Frenchman bounced back in the next two stages.

On the long and winding 30-km Loelle stage, Skoda's Armin Schwatz stopped after just seven km with a clutch failure with Loeb winning with a time of 19 minutes 33.8 seconds.

The drivers then returned to Tandalo and this time Loeb gained revenge finishing an impressive 19.6 seconds ahead of Solberg.

Third place is held by Mitsubishi's Harri Rovanpera but fellow Finn Marcus Gronholm, who spun off the road on Friday, remains in contention for the podium.

Mikko Hirvonen, who began the day in third place overall, was forced to stop his Ford Focus in the 30-km seventh stage after ripping the two rear wheels off.

 

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Loeb Claims Easy Win in Sardinia

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