Loeb and Solberg locked in fight for Welsh lead

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb is the man at the top of the times post-SS11 – but Petter Solberg is right in contention in second.

Citroen number one driver Sebastien Loeb leads Wales Rally GB heading into the mid-day halt, although Petter Solberg is right up there in his privately entered C4 WRC and a major threat, just 2.3 seconds adrift.

Solberg took the lead from Loeb on the opening stage of the day, Radnor 1, although he, like all the drivers, found conditions difficult: "Bloody hell guys, that was slippery!" said 'Hollywood'. "I hope Seb said the same!"

The biggest loser on the opening stage was Sebastien Ogier who rolled out of the rally, and probably second place in the 2010 World Rally Championship, close to the flying finish. The following drivers' reported that they couldn't even see the Citroen from the road.

Loeb conceded further time to Solberg on the following stage, Monument Hill, after making a rare error: "I went straight on at a junction and stalled the car," he explained.

The Frenchman struck back on the next stage though, Four Ways Crychan 1, which saw the cars tackle the gravel tracks of Crychan Forest before taking on the tarmac of the Epynt Military ranges.

As he conceded the event lead once again, Solberg felt he had been at a disadvantage: "A lot of mud has been pulled onto the road by Seb. This made the tarmac very tricky. We lost time to Seb on the tarmac. The second run should be more equal," Solberg stated.

The final stage of the morning, Halfway 1, saw Loeb's advantage more than halved after he hit a problem: "We spun on a corner and lost ten seconds. It was very slippery and I misjudged the braking point," he revealed.

Behind the leading duo, Ogier's demise has left three drivers fighting it out for third place. Mikko Hirvonen currently holds the final podium place despite a scare on Halfway 1: "I had to slow down when I hit a sheep!" he explained, although there was no visible damage on the car.

Dani Sordo also struck problems on the stage and suffered an overshoot: "There were two crests and a hairpin. I braked at the second crest when I should have braked at the first!" he noted.

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

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