Loeb extends lead, Petter puts in charge

Record-breaking multiple WRC champion Sebastien Loeb strengthened his position on Rally Bulgaria this afternoon, by extending his lead from 30 seconds to 40.5.
Citroen number one driver Sebastien Loeb increased his advantage on Rally Bulgaria this afternoon, while Petter Solberg won all three stages to close up on Dani Sordo in second.

Loeb began the afternoon loop 30 seconds up on his team-mate, and despite running on the soft Pirelli tyres – as Citroen expected rain - the Frenchman was still second in all three stages, something that ensured he remains top ahead of the final day on Sunday.

Indeed Seb will start tomorrow with a 40.5 second cushion and with only four stages to go, things are looking very good for him and the Citroen Total WRT.

"We knew it [the choice of soft rubber] wasn't the best one but our lead enabled us to opt for security given the risk of the storm," said Loeb. "Overall, we didn't lose too much time.

"I adjusted my driving style as when soft tyres overheat, they make the car's handling less precise. You just have to find the right rhythm by anticipating a little bit more. We'll have to finish the job tomorrow to bag the win."

While Loeb consolidated his position though, Sordo was unable to stop Solberg from closing right up, reducing the gap from 26.8 seconds after the first loop this morning, to just 4.7 seconds post-SS10.

Sordo was 'only' fifth in SS8, third in SS9 and fourth in SS10, having opted to run with two spare tyres. That left him struggling for rear grip and with Solberg winning every single test in his privately entered C4, the fight is well and truly on for the runners-up spot.

"This is so great, I'm so happy with the afternoon stages," said Solberg. "We did some minor changes with the set up during the mid-day service, and that made a big difference for me. And with the help of our small weather and safety crew, we made the correct tyre choice."

"My C4 was handling well but the added weight of the second spare wheel reduced its overall efficiency," Sordo explained. "We made this choice as there was a strong possibility that a storm would soak the last stage. We've managed to hold on to second place, but tomorrow we'll have to push hard to finish the rally in front of Petter."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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unwiped bottom - Unregistered

July 10, 2010 11:57 PM

Matthew Wilson has to be the most useless rally driver and most undeserving since Freddy Loix. He seems to get worse and worse every year. He should be ashamed of himself. His Daddy should be ashamed of himself. Ford Should be ashamed of themselves and same goes with all of Wilsons 3 fans.

Twin Cam Sam - Unregistered

July 10, 2010 8:50 PM

Cheers, Chris. Wilson 7m 34.7s behind the leader, 3 mins behind P G Tips in his first event in the same car - with limited testing, and 2 mins behind Frigyes Turan in an ageing Peugeot 307 WRC who ever he is ? (but fairplay to him !) And it's only the end of Day 2 ! We used to take the p155 when he regularly finished 7th, now he's ninth. Why do Stobart continue to pour money down the drain ? If Malcolm's not careful, Ford and Stobart will pull the plug. The BP Abu Dhabi AND Stobart teams need a radical overhaul - if I was Mr Ford, I'd be thinking about a change of preparation specialist......

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