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 
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Leg Two Clean Sweep for Loeb
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Loeb Wins Acropolis Rally

Loeb Wins Acropolis Rally
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