Huge lead for Loeb
Frenchman on the brink of ninth vcitory in the German Rally
Last Updated: 25/08/12 8:00pm
Sebastien Loeb: Has commanding lead heading into the final day of the German Rally
Sebastien Loeb moved a step closer to a ninth victory in the German Rally as he claimed a commanding lead after the second day of the event.
Loeb has been the undisputed master of the German Rally since the event was introduced to the World Rally Championship calendar in 2002, his only failure to win coming last season when a puncture saw his then Citroen team-mate Sebastien Ogier claim the spoils.
The Frenchman has resumed normal business this year and now has just three stages separating him from yet another win on German soil.
His lead of 1 minute 42.9 seconds seems certain to withstand any challenge from his rivals providing his Citroen DS3 WRC remains free of incident.
"A huge lead, so again a very good day and no problems. We have finished the second day with a good lead so it's looking good for tomorrow," said Loeb.
The margin of Loeb's lead increased dramatically on Saturday's opening stage when nearest challenger Petter Solberg crashed out.
Solberg retired after breaking the right-rear wheel of his Fiesta when he hit a rock on the Arena Panzerplatte stage, meaning Ford team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala was elevated to second place.
Latvala's fellow Finn Mikko Hirvonen ended the day in third place in the second factory Citroen, with Mads Ostberg (Adapta Fiesta) fourth, the Mini of Chris Atkinson in fifth and Ogier sixth for Volkswagen.
The works Mini of Dani Sordo ran as high as third before a puncture and then a mechanical problem on the day's final stage dropped him down the order.
Ott Tanak (M-Sport Fiesta) also ran strongly in the top six today but saw his day turn sour when he removed a rear wheel on a boulder and dropped to ninth place.