26 June 2004
Two-horse race: Loeb, Gronholm to battle it out?
Carlos Sainz and Francois Duval therefore moved up the leaderboard into fourth and fifth respectively, the Belgian suffering a broken front right drive-shaft in stage 10. Sainz was pleased just to get to the end though, as he has been feeling ill throughout the day's action.
"I have experienced the toughest day of my career," he noted, "even worse than in Sanremo when I started after a laser treatment for kidney stones. To say that I'm happy to see the end of the day is an understatement. I am relying on a good night sleep to be fit tomorrow."
Mikko Hirvonen is sixth in the second Subaru, despite a puncture, which ripped the tyre open near the end of stage 11.
Janne Tuohino and Henning Solberg complete the provisional points scorers in seventh and eighth, while Gianluigi Galli is eleventh for Mitsubishi and Markko Martin, is 27th for Ford, both currently on target for manufacturers' points.
In the Junior WRC Suzuki dominate, with Mirco Baldacci first, while team-mates, Per-Gunnar Andersson, Kosti Katajamaki, Urmo Aava and Guy Wilks round off the top five - giving Suzuki a masterful 1-2-3-4-5 formation. Only eight 'junior' competitors remain.
In total 35 drivers completed the second leg, a further 11 retiring during the course of today's six stages. Three drivers opted to take advantage of the 'SupeRally' format, namely Gilles Panizzi, Natalie Barratt and Jari-Matti Latvala, the former was the only one of the trio to complete all the days tests, having opted to 're-start'.
The final leg tomorrow [Sunday] is the shortest of the three, covering just 77.90km of competition. After leaving Kemer at 06.30, drivers tackle two loops of two identical speed tests before returning for the finish at 14.31. Both stages are unused so far this year and the second on each loop is new to the rally.
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