Loeb cruising towards Acropolis win

Sebastien Loeb is on course for his third win of the season after pulling away from Petter Solberg on the final morning in Greece

Loeb cruising towards Acropolis win

Solberg was 28 seconds behind Loeb going into today's stages, but was less happy with the new Subaru's performance this morning and lost a lot of time to the Citroen in the first two stages, ending the loop one minute and seven seconds adrift.

"We have had some big problems today," said Solberg. "We managed to do quite a lot to help before the last stage, but the car's not as good as it was yesterday. I just want to keep a consistent pace and not do anything crazy, but those first two stages this morning were worrying."

As Solberg dropped back, Loeb was able to take a more cautious approach to the rocky stages.

"It was a bit rough in the middle of the stage so I was really slow," said Loeb after SS16. "We have a good lead so I can lift off a lot in the bad places. When you go flat-out on this kind of road you can break anything, so I prefer to be very safe."

The battle for third place has come alive after Henning Solberg's Stobart Ford repeatedly cut out during this morning's stages, allowing works Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen to close right in on him.

The gap between the two cars has now come down from nearly two minutes to just 22 seconds, and Hirvonen is determined to grab the final podium place this afternoon.

"It's flat-out now," said Hirvonen. "I saw he had a problem, so I came through flat-out. I'm sure he can go faster, so it's going to be tight. We'll see."

Urmo Aava is still fifth in the PH Citroen, but admitted he was keeping an eye on the flying Dani Sordo (Citroen), who has passed Matthew Wilson (Stobart Ford) for sixth as he recovers from his strings of punctures yesterday.

Despite gaining ground this morning, Sordo insisted he was driving cautiously and focusing on collecting points.

"I'm driving slowly today because I'm not taking a lot of risks," he said. "It's very important to get the manufacturer points. I tried to catch Wilson, but not with a lot of risks because it's very easy to puncture. It's more important to have some points than nothing."

Jari-Matti Latvala was fastest in SS15 but is relying on problems ahead to move up from his current distant eighth place.

"The feeling is good and I've got a good road position, so I'm just enjoying my driving and trying to make myself confident for Turkey," he said.

Leading positions after SS16:

Pos Driver Car Time 1. Loeb Citroen 3h19:43.6 2. P Solberg Subaru + 1:07.2 3. H Solberg Ford + 2:08.7 4. Hirvonen Ford + 2:31.3 5. Aava Citroen + 4:45.8 6. Sordo Citroen + 5:34.9 7. Wilson Ford + 5:43.7 8. Latvala Ford + 8:03.4 9. Gardemeister Suzuki + 10:01.7 10. Rautenbach Citroen + 10:40.4 
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Loeb leads into final day in Greece

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