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Loeb admits to Sardinian gamble

Sebastien Loeb admits that he will only know on Sunday whether his decision to slow on the final stage of day one in Sardinia has been correct.

Loeb had been forced to act as roadsweeper during the opening day of the event but headed into the final stage less than 20 seconds behind leader Jari-Matti Latvala.

Having set the quickest stage time on stage five, Loeb then elected to slow on stage six to secure a better road position for day two and duly dropped behind Mikko Hirvonen to third.

The Frenchman admitted that it had been a gamble to slow – with Latvala extending his advantage to some 43 seconds over the defending champion – and he admitted that only time would tell if the gamble had been correct.

"I realised I wouldn't be able to hold off Hirvonen running first on the road," he said. "Even pushing as hard as I was, I wasn't able to pull out a gap. After a lot of hard thought, we decided to leave Latvala with a forty or so second lead so that he would choose to stay in front.

"At the same time, Mikko got his sums wrong and he too will start ahead of us tomorrow. It's a gamble being 43 seconds down on Latvala this evening. We will see on Sunday whether we did the right thing…"


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