Loeb on Way to 4th Win

Citroen's Championship leader Sebastien Loeb turned the Rally of Turkey into a battle for second place on Saturday as he headed steadily towards his fourth win in a row

Loeb on Way to 4th Win

The overnight leader led Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm by a hefty 1:11.2 after 12 of the 18 stages in the Anatolian mountains near the Mediterranean resort of Antalya.

The Champion, winner of four of the season's six rounds, was only fourth fastest on the 10th Kemer 1 stage that opened Saturday's second leg but hit back with the quickest time on the next one.

Twice Champion Gronholm and Subaru's Petter Solberg fought for second place with the Norwegian just 3.2 seconds behind the Peugeot driver after winning two of the morning's opening three stages.

"No problem with anything," said Solberg after the day's second stage. "These were the first two stages where we've made the correct tyre choice.

"The first stage was still damp in places but, compared to yesterday, it felt completely different and that's purely down to the tyres."

With Loeb in a race of his own, nobody was close to challenging Gronholm and Solberg either.

Spain's former Champion Carlos Sainz, coming out of a retirement for a one-off comeback with Citroen as a replacement for crash-prone Belgian Francois Duval, was fourth but one minute 11.5 seconds adrift of Solberg.

The 43-year-old, winner in Turkey two years ago, was also a minute and 21 seconds ahead of fifth placed Finn Toni Gardemeister in a Ford.

Estonian Markko Martin was sixth for Peugeot.

Italian Gianluigi Galli, second overnight and the only driver other than Loeb to win a stage on Friday, fell out of the reckoning after losing more than eight minutes with a disconnected turbo pipe in his Mitsubishi. He was 10th.

"I'm not bothered," said the Italian, still delighted to have led a World Championship rally for the first time.

"We're just further down the order than before. Whatever happens, the team have done a fantastic job."

Loeb leads the Championship with 45 points, while Solberg and Martin both have 34. Peugeot are top of the manufacturers' standings with 62 points to Citroen's 53.

 

shares
comments
Loeb Takes Commanding Lead

Previous article

Loeb Takes Commanding Lead

Next article

Battle for Second Behind Loeb

Battle for Second Behind Loeb
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021