Loeb Nearing Eighth Season Victory

Sebastien Loeb is within striking distance of his eighth WRC victory of the season at the end of the second day of the Rally Deutschland

Loeb Nearing Eighth Season Victory

Loeb leads teammate Duval by 27.9 seconds after the pair continued to ensure that a Citroen has won every stage of the event.

Loeb beat Duval on SS11 but the positions were reversed through SS12. Loeb pipped Gronholm on the final stage of the day, with Duval close behind in third.

Earlier in the day Loeb revealed that Citroen chiefs had given both drivers instructions to pace themselves and not to fight each other, so as to ensure a maximum points' haul in the manufacturers' Championship.

The pair just has to negotiate six more stages on tomorrow's third leg - or another 97.5 km - to take the French manufacturer's first 1-2 finish of the season.

Marcus Gronholm continues to have a quiet run to third and is one minute 47 seconds behind leader Loeb, but nearly two minutes ahead of Peugeot teammate Markko Martin.

The scrap for fifth place has intensified after problems for Ford privateer Daniel Sola. Through SS12, the day's second running of the 22.06 km Bosenberg stage, Sola suffered hydraulic problems and lost more than two-and-a half minutes to stage winner Duval. Sola eventually ended the day in eighth.

Mitubishi's Gigi Galli should have inherited fifth from Sola, but spun near the start of the same stage and lost more than 30 seconds to Duval.

The position therefore went to Kresta, who recorded a time just quick enough to beat edge out Galli for the position, despite stalling at one point through SS11.

Stepahne Sarrazin continued his impressive climb up through the leader board after yesterday's dramas, and moved up to another position to seventh on SS13 while Sola continued to struggle.

Sarrazin's Subaru teamleader Petter Solberg is just three seconds off Sola in ninth as he battle back from his earlier gearbox problems to secure a points finish.

Top 20 leaderboard - end of Leg Two:

Pos  Driver      Make         Time
 1.  Loeb        Citroen      2h 34:44.3
 2.  Duval       Citroen      +     27.9
 3.  Gronholm    Peugeot      +   1:47.7
 4.  Martin      Peugeot      +   3:44.8
 5.  Kresta      Ford         +   4:55.4
 6.  Galli       Mitsubishi   +   4:57.8
 7.  Sarrazin    Subaru       +   7:04.3
 8.  Sola        Ford         +   7:18.3
 9.  Solberg     Subaru       +   7:21.3
10.  Rovanpera   Mitsubishi   +   7:44.5
11.  Kopecky     Skoda        +   7:53.3
12.  Pons        Citroen      +   8:07.5
13.  Atkinson    Subaru       +   9:45.4
14.  Sordo       Citroen      +  15:22.5
15.  Meeke       Citroen      +  15:34.2
16.  Wilks       Suzuki       +  19:22.7
17.  Andersson   Suzuki       +  19:43.0
18.  Gassner     Mitsubishi   +  20:24.2
19.  Katajamaki  Suzuki       +  20:26.8
20.  Fahrner     Opel         +  22:45.9
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