Loeb Extends Lead

Sebastien Loeb took control of the Wales Rally GB after winning all three of the second leg's opening loop of stages

Loeb Extends Lead

The Frenchman now leads the event by 23.7 seconds, which would have been even more if it wasn't for the ten second penalty he received leaving TC3 a minute late yesterday.

Loeb was in dominant form and it is beginning to look more likely the Frenchman will claim his ninth victory of the season this weekend, after second placed Petter Solberg admitted he was no match for the Citroen driver.

"I'm trying very hard believe me," Solberg said. "Loeb is going too fast, I'm flat in sixth gear, but I just can't keep up. I can't do any more than I am doing. "

Loeb, who went into this morning's stages with only a 9.9 second advantage over Solberg, said he was building up the gap in an attempt to go into tomorrow's stages with a healthy lead.

"We have a good set up this morning," Loeb said. "The tyres are working well. I've tried hard to increase my lead because ten seconds is not much with two days still to go. Especially with the last stages tomorrow being Margam, which has been a problem for me in the last couple of years.

"But I must continue to push - [I] nearly made a big mistake just after the start.

Harri Rovanpera continues to hold third, however Marcus Gronholm is closing hard. Gronholm's Peugeot has halved the gap to the Rovanpera's Mitsubishi from 39.6 seconds to 17.7 seconds.

Rovanpera was struggling with his rear tyres, suffering vibrations from the anti-deflation mousse that operated when his rear tyre punctured.

Francois Duval is winning the close battle for fifth, however Peugeot's Markko Martin has run better this morning and was third fastest on SS7. Martin is now up 8.0 seconds behind the Belgian.

Subaru works driver Chris Atkinson retired from the Wales Rally GB after crashing on SS7.The Australian spun the car approximately 7km into the Crychan stage, and dropped into a ditch. Although the car was not badly damaged, he was unable to recover his Impreza.

Mitsubishi's Gigi Galli and Citroen privateer Manfred Stohl have benefited from Atkinson's retirement and Toni Gardemeister's disqualification to move into the final points-paying positions.

Former World champion Colin McRae has moved up to 11th but is now 0.9 seconds behind his protege Kris Meeke in last year's Subaru Impreza in 10th.

Standings after SS9: Pos Driver Make Time 1. Loeb Citroen 1:46:21.1 2. Solberg Subaru + 33.7 3. Rovanpera Mitsubishi + 1:11.8 4. Gronholm Peugeot + 1:29.5 5. Duval Citroen + 1:47.2 6. Martin Peugeot + 1:55.2 7. Galli Mitsubishi + 2:19.2 8. Stohl Citroen + 2:35.5 9. Kresta Ford + 3:01.2 10. Meeke Subaru + 3:09.2 11. Mcrae Skoda + 3:10.1 12. Higgins Ford + 3:15.9 13. Warmbold Ford + 3:22.0 14. Solberg Ford + 3:32.3 15. Latvala Ford + 5:34.5 All Timing Unofficial 
shares
comments
Atkinson crashes out on SS7
Previous article

Atkinson crashes out on SS7

Next article

Solberg Hopes for a Loeb Mistake

Solberg Hopes for a Loeb Mistake
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021