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Loeb, Citroen on course for 1-2 in Argentina

Sebastien Loeb stretches his advantage to 7.8 seconds on the repeat loop, but with Citroen telling its drivers' to hold position, Mikko Hirvonen is no longer attacking.

Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen remain poised to give Citroen a one-two finish on Rally Argentina.

Loeb and Hirvonen had been locked in a great battle this morning, with the gap just 2.1 seconds heading into the mid-day service. However with Ford's Dani Sordo a distant third, Citroen then instructed both drivers' to hold position, fearful that if its drivers' kept pushing, one might crash out [see separate story - HERE].

In the end, Loeb finished the afternoon loop having increased his lead to 7.8 seconds.

Behind, Sordo remains third, although a puncture in SS11 saw him slip further back and he is now 1 minute 48.3 seconds adrift of P1. Mads Ostberg is an equally lonely fourth in his Fiesta RS WRC, a minute off the final place on the podium, and over 6 minutes up on Martin Prokop in P5.

Sebastien Ogier now holds sixth, having moved ahead of fellow Volkswagen Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 man, Andreas Mikkelsen in SS12. Ogier is 5.8 seconds up on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge regular and current IRC champion going into SS13.

Thierry Neuville rounds out the top eight, with Armindo Araujo ninth in his MINI, albeit only 0.6 seconds ahead of Petter Solberg, who set the pace in SS10, SS11 and SS12.

Day two now concludes with a second-run through the 6.04 km Parque Tematico Carlos Paz Super Special, which kicked off proceedings on Thursday night. It is due to start at 19.50 hours local time [23.50 hours UK time].


Rally Argentina: Overall standings after Stage 12 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 3hours 52mins 45.7secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 07.8secs M
3. Dani Sordo Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 48.3secs M
4. Mads Ostberg Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 55.5secs M
5. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 16.0secs
6. Sebastien Ogier VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +10mins 20.1secs
7. Andreas Mikkelsen VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +10mins 25.9secs
8. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC +11mins 53.7secs M
9. Armindo Araujo WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +14mins 09.3secs
10. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +14mins 09.9secs M

Others

11. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +21mins 48.1secs M
12. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +22mins 33.6secs M
13. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +28mins 08.3secs P
14. Benito Guerra Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +29mins 02.9secs P
15. Eliseo Salazar MINI John Cooper Works WRC +32mins 16.0secs
16. Valeriy Gorban Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +33mins 55.9secs P
17. Daniel Oliveira Brazil WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +35mins 06.5secs
18. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +36mins 37.4secs M
21. Paulo Nobre WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +44mins 14.3secs


PWRC standings after Stage 12 – Top 3:

1. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 4hours 20mins 54.0secs P
2. Benito Guerra Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +00mins 54.6secs P
3. Valeriy Gorban Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +05mins 47.6secs P


Notable retirements:

SS1. Ramona Karlsson Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X Mechanical P
SS3. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Lost wheel M*
SS3. Paulo Nobre WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC Stopped*
SS4. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Steering arm M*
SS4. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Stopped M*
SS5. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC Rolled M*

SS9. Alexey Kikireshko Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX Mechanical P
SS9. Michal Kosciuszko Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X Mechanical P
SS9/SS10. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +07mins 58.1secs M
SS9/SS10. Paulo Nobre WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC Overheating

* denotes re-started under Rally 2


all times unofficial



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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