Loeb Closing In On Victory

Sebastien Loeb continues to lead the Acropolis Rally, having extended his advantage on both of this morning's stages run so far

Loeb Closing In On Victory

Despite having nearly a one and a half minute lead, the Frenchman has kept pushing, taking a 3.9 second stage win on SS17, and only being one tenth of a seconds off Ford's Toni Gardemester on SS16.

Second-placed Gardemeister has not completely given up on victory, his SS16 stage win being his first of the rally. His pace however has more likely been aimed at defending the position from Loeb's teammate Carlos Sainz.

Sainz has dropped to more than 25 seconds behind Gardemeister, and will have to step up the pace on the final stages of the rally is to help his team secure a Citroen one-two.

Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm continues to post competitive stage times after recovering from yesterday's driveshaft problems, but the best he can realistically hope for is fourth position, currently more than a minute behind Sainz.

The battle for fifth intensified with only 2.3 seconds separating privateer Mikko Hirvonen from Mitsubishi's Harri Rovanpera.

Hirvonen had extended his advantage to 26.9 seconds at the end of yesterday, however Rovanpera was faster on both of this morning's stages. This could be the battle to focus on the today's final two stages.

Mitsubishi's Gigi Galli and Peugeot's Markko Martin rounded out the points scoring positions. Martin however could be under threat by the end of the rally from the recovering Petter Solberg. Solberg has narrowed the gap to Martin to 41.1 seconds.

Top 20 Leaderboard after SS17:

Pos Driver Team Time 1. Loeb Citroen 3h29m52.7 2. Gardemeister Ford + 1:28.4 3. Sainz Citroen + 1:54.0 4. Gronholm Peugeot + 2:58.9 5. Hirvonen Ford + 3:31.9 6. Rovanperä Mitsubishi + 3:34.2 7. Galli Mitsubishi + 4:40.6 8. Martin Peugeot + 5:07.0 9. Solberg Subaru + 5:48.1 10. Sohlberg Subaru + 7:35.0 11. Pons Citroen + 8:02.6 12. Vovos Subaru + 11:12.0 13. Sarrazin Subaru + 15:48.0 14. Carlsson Subaru + 19:22.1 15. Andersson Suzuki + 24:13.4 16. Wilks Suzuki + 27:32.2 17. Hatzitsopanis Mitsubishi + 27:37.2 18. Papadimitriou Ford + 27:47.2 19. Aava Suzuki + 28:04.9 20. Schwarz Skoda + 30:11.4 
shares
comments

Next article

Loeb Wins Acropolis Rally

Loeb Wins Acropolis Rally
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Author Tim Redmayne
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021