Loeb Set to Break Records

Sebastien Loeb is just six kilometres away from winning the Rally Argentina, after edging further away from Marcus Gronholm on Leg Three's main stages

Loeb Set to Break Records

Loeb has pulled out a further six seconds over the Peugeot driver and now has a 32.7 second margin with just two runnings of the 3.02km Complejo Pro-Racing Superspecial left to go before the end of the event. Loeb took the first stage victory of the day, despite SS18, the first running of the famous El Condor stage, being delayed by 20 minutes due to crowd congestion.

If Loeb does survive the final stages unscathed, he will break the record for most successive rally victories and most victories in one season.

Gronholm looks assured of second place and now holds a 29.6 second advantage over Solberg. The Subaru driver showed he hadn't given up his pursuit of second with the fastest stage time on SS20, however, the gap is seemingly insurmountable with such a short distance left to run.

The battle for fourth place has provided the most excitement of the day. Toni Gardemeister still leads the battle, but Mitsubishi's Harri Rovanpera has narrowed the gap from 11.0 seconds at the end of yesterday, to just 7.0 seconds.

The pair showed just how hard they were pushing on SS19, the 24.45km stage of Mina Clavero-Giulio Cesar. Gardemeister and Rovanpera were more than four seconds faster than any of the rally's leading trio through the stage, with Gardemeister edging Rovanpera by 2.4 seconds. Rovanpera however, narrowed the margin by beating the Ford driver through both runnings of El Condor.

Peugeot driver Marko Martin is comfortable in sixth ahead of an under pressure Francois Duval in seventh. The Belgian, returning to Citroen after his two-event enforced rest, had a bad run through SS20, which allowed the privateer Citroen of Manfred Stohl to halve the gap between them. Barring a minor disaster Duval should hold onto the position, having a 12.3-second advantage over Stohl.

Pos  Driver        Make          Time
 1.  Loeb          Citroen       3h 51:08.6
 2.  Gronholm      Peugeot       +     32.7
 3.  Solberg       Subaru        +   1:02.3
 4.  Gardemeister  Ford          +   2:44.1
 5.  Rovanpera     Mitsubishi    +   2:51.9
 6.  Martin        Peugeot       +   4:21.3
 7.  Duval         Citroen       +   5:34.3
 8.  Stohl         Citroen       +   5:46.6
 9.  Atkinson      Subaru        +   6:00.1
10.  Pons          Citroen       +   8:20.8
11.  Kresta        Ford          +   8:37.2
12.  Warmbold      Ford          +   8:53.8
13.  Ligato        Peugeot       +  13:53.5
14.  Perez         Ford          +  15:02.0
15.  Carlsson      Peugeot       +  18:21.2
16.  Schwarz       Skoda         +  21:41.3
17.  Al-Attiyah    Subaru        +  25:41.9
18.  Higgins       Subaru        +  28:21.1
19.  Trivino       Peugeot       +  32:37.0
20.  Villagra      Mitsubishi    +  37:44.4
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Loeb Takes Record-Breaking Win

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