Rally GB: Loeb extends lead

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has extended his overall lead in the Wales Rally GB after the first three stages of the second leg. The Frenchman, showing no signs of easing off, won two out of the three stages. The big news of the morning, though, was Marcus Gronholm's (Peugeot) off on SS9, the Epynt 1

Rally GB: Loeb extends lead

The Finn has reportedly hit a pole in the road and damaged the steering on his car. He was unable to complete the stage, but has repaired the 307 WRC and made his way to the start of the third stage of the day, the Halfway 1. Gronholm, who had also reported gearbox problems before the accident, complained of severe handling problems as he made his way to the start and was not sure if he'd be able to continue.

Subaru's Petter Solberg, who looked certain to challenge Loeb for the lead today (Saturday), has dropped off the pace and failed to match the Citroen ace on any of the first three stages. Loeb now holds a 17.2s lead over the Norwegian.

Ford's Markko Martin has moved up to third follwing Gronholm's mishap but is a massive 53s behind Solberg. Citroen's Carlos Sainz is fourth, over two minutes off the pace with Ford's Francois Duval a further minute and a half down in fifth.

Mikko Hirvonen is sixth in the Subaru ahead of Peugeot's Harri Rovanpera. Mark Higgins has moved up into a points-scoring position in eighth in the Ford Focus WRC.

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