19 June 2011
Loeb retains Acropolis lead post-SS15
Sebastien Loeb slips behind Sebastien Ogier in SS14 – and then re-takes the lead in SS15; Mikko Hirvonen moves up to third demoting Petter Solberg to fourth; Jari-Matti Latvala wins both tests to climb back into the top ten...
Sebastien Loeb remains in the lead of the Acropolis Rally following SS15 this morning - although there is only 0.1 seconds between him and team-mate Sebastien Ogier with three stages to go.
Loeb, who began the final day with a 2.2 second lead and who was again back playing the 'road sweeper', was edged down to second in the first test - SS14, with Ogier going in front by 0.1 seconds. However in the next stage the situation was reversed and with Loeb 0.2 seconds quicker than his fellow countryman, he re-took P1.
“The car is working well,” Loeb said in service G. “The battle is very close. I will have to work hard and I hope there will be not so much cleaning now. We are free to fight.”
“We've won less seconds than we excepted,” Ogier conceded. “Maybe I didn't push so much. It is going to be a big fight. Everything is still possible.”
Meanwhile, Mikko Hirvonen is up to third and is around 14 seconds off the duel between the two works Citroens. The Ford Abu Dhabi WRT is also a similar amount up on Petter Solberg, who has continued to slip back: “I will push on and see what I can do,” said 'Hollywood'. “Maybe someone will make a mistake. I will push hard, but it seems that I am missing something.”
Further back there was no change to the top eight, with Henning Solberg still a distant fifth - now more than 4 minutes off P4 – followed by his M-Sport Stobart team-mate, Matt Wilson, F1 2007 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen and runaway SWRC class leader, Juho Hanninen.
Of the rest Jari-Matti Latvala has fought his way back into the top ten, having set the pace in both SS14 and SS15. Dennis Kuipers completes the top ten ahead of SWRC runners Bernardo Sousa, Frigyes Turan and Hermann Gassner Jr. Mads Ostberg is 15th – having re-started under the SupeRally on Saturday.
The event now concludes with a repeat-run through this morning's two stages, before heading to New Loutraki [SS18] for the 4 kilometre Power Stage.
Acropolis Rally: Overall standings after Stage 15 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 3hours 41mins 41.6secs M
2. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 00.1secs M
3. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 14.7secs M
4. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC +00mins 29.1secs M
5. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +04mins 44.3secs
6. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +06mins 05.5secs M
7. Kimi Raikkonen ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC +07mins 37.4secs M
8. Juho Hanninen Red Bull Skoda Fabia S2000 +10mins 00.4secs S
9. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +13mins 06.9secs M
10. Dennis Kuipers FERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS +13mins 37.6secs M
11. Bernardo Sousa Ford Fiesta S2000 +14mins 16.0secs S
12. Frigyes Turan Ford Fiesta S2000 +15mins 29.7secs S
13. Hermann Gassner Jr. Skoda Fabia S2000 +16mins 46.1secs S
14. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +16mins 49.7secs M
SWRC standings after Stage 15 (Top 3):
1. Juho Hanninen Red Bull Skoda Fabia S2000 3hours 51mins 42.0secs S
2. Bernardo Sousa Ford Fiesta S2000 +04mins 15.6secs S
3. Frigyes Turan Ford Fiesta S2000 +05mins 29.3secs S
SS2. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Suspension*
SS3. Peter van Merksteijn Jr Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC Off road. M
SS4. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Off road. M*
SS5. Daniel Oliveira Brazil WRT Mini John Cooper Works Stopped in stage M*
SS6. Federico Villagra Munchis Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Front car damage M*
SS7. Ott Tanak Ford Fiesta S2000 Off road S
SS9. Armindo Araujo Mini John Cooper Works Mechanical
SS12. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Alternator belt*
SS14. Daniel Oliveira Brazil WRT Mini John Cooper Works Mechanical M
* denotes re-started under SupeRally
all times unofficial
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