Loeb Expects Gronholm Fightback

Sebastien Loeb expects title rival Marcus Gronholm to fight back from his brake problems this morning and be able to challenge for third

Gronholm won the first stage but suffered a brake fluid leak on SS2 and lost nearly a minute and twenty seconds to Loeb, and now lies in 17th.

If Gronholm does move back and finish third, Loeb will have to wait until at least the Rally Japan to wrap up his second consecutive WRC crown.

Loeb said: "Marcus had some problems this morning but I'm sure he will be third again and he will come back. He is a lot faster than all the others.

"I think the conditions will change a lot between this morning and this afternoon. The stages were very muddy and very slippery, especially the first two."

Loeb is currently 32 points ahead of Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm and 38 points up on Petter Solberg,­ and with four rounds remaining requires a 40-point lead when he leaves Wales to be assured of this year's title.

That means that if Gronholm finishes higher than seventh, or Solberg finishes second or higher, Loeb cannot win the title this weekend even if he wins his first Rally GB on Sunday.

"I'm not thinking about the championship and it doesn't play on my mind," Loeb added. "To go as fast as possible is the only thing to do."

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