Citroen's Sebastien Loeb remains firmly in control on Rally Argentina and now just two stages stand between the Frenchman and yet another WRC triumph.

Loeb began the final day with a 39.8 second cushion and as such he could take it relatively easy through the morning loop, although he was still fourth fastest in SS11 and second in SS12. As a result, with his closest rival, Sebastien Ogier also opting to take it cautiously, the nine-time World Rally Champion actually increased his lead and it now stands at 1 minute 6.9 seconds.

Evgeny Novikov meanwhile remains third, although the Qatar M-Sport WRT man is coming under increasing pressure from behind. Jari-Matti Latvala began the day 8.2 seconds adrift, but was quickest in both tests in his Volkswagen Polo R WRC to cut the margin to just 3.4 seconds.

Related Articles

Further back, Thierry Neuville is fifth, from Mikko Hirvonen, Mads Ostberg and Martin Prokop - the same look top-eight as it was last night. The only change in the top-ten saw Dani Sordo move to ninth, while Andreas Mikkelsen drops a place to tenth, having struggled with his pace-notes.

In WRC2, Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari is now over 11 minutes up on Nicolas Fuchs. Marcos Ligato completes the top-three.

Rally Argentina now concludes with repeat-runs through Mina Clavero-Giulio Cesare and El Condor-Copina. SS13 is set to start at 11.39 hours local time [15.39 hours UK time]. SS14 follows at 12.57 hours local time [16.57 hours UK time].

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

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 4hours 04mins 09.1secs M
2. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +1m 06.9secs M
3. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m 33.5s M
4. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +2m 36.9s M
5. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4m 19.1s T
6. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +6m 37.6s M
7. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +10m 57.5s M*
8. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +13m 17.4s T
9. Dani Sordo Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +13m 21.3s M
10. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +13m 25.3s T*

Others

11. Gabriel Pozzo Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +16m 02.0s T
12. Daniel Oliveira Stohl Racing Ford Fiesta RS WRC +24m 20.3s*
13. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC +28m 48.3s WRC2
14. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +40m 31.3s WRC2
15. Gustavo Saba Skoda Fabia S2000 +40m 35.4s
16. Marcos Ligato Subaru Impreza WRX STi +50m 55.4s WRC2

WRC2 standings after Stage 12 (Top 3):

1. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC 4hr 32m 57.5s WRC2
2. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +11m 43.0s WRC2
3. Marcos Ligato Subaru Impreza WRX STi +22m 07.0s WRC2

Notable retirements:

SS4. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Broken steering arm M*
SS4. Daniel Oliveira Stohl Racing Ford Fiesta RS WRC Lost front wheel*
SS5. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Team WRC MINI John Cooper Works WRC Stopped in stage T*

SS6. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Team WRC MINI John Cooper Works WRC Suspension T
SS8/9. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC Suspension T*

*denotes re-started under Rally 2 regulations

all times unofficial