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Loeb 'tanks' on in Germany.


Citroen ace, Sebastien Loeb notched up another five stage wins Saturday during the second leg of the Rallye Deutschland, to increase his advantage from 11.7 seconds at the end of Friday to nearly 30 seconds going into the final day.

The Frenchman has been the class of the field - as has been the norm this year, and now looks increasingly likely not only to win the event for the fourth year running, but also to increase his advantage at the top of the drivers' championship.

Loeb's only minor error came in SS7, when he had a small spin, but after from that it has been a faultless day and he seemingly dealt with all seven stages with ease, including the notorious Panzerplatte - a 30-kilometre long endurance test through the heart of the Baumholder military ranges, which is more commonly used by US soldiers for tank training!

Duval ensured Citroen kept a clean sweep of stages victories, by winning the two Loeb couldn't, and while he also had a bit of a rocky start - stalling in Bosenberg, before a brake fire at the end of the test gave him a bit of a scare - he is on course to take second in the sister Xsara WRC.

Marcus Gronholm has had a quiet day, with no real dramas. He is now over 1 minute behind Duval and 2 minutes up on his Peugeot team-mate, Markko Martin, who lies fourth. The Estonian also had no issues with his 307, his only problem a spin in SS7.

Roman Kresta concluded the leg fifth overall, the lead Ford driver, despite going down a bank in SS8 and stalling in SS11. The Czech though faces a tough battle with Mitsubishi driver, Gigi Galli tomorrow, as only 2.4 seconds separate the two. Galli would also have probably been in front if it wasn't for too minor spins during the leg.

Stephane Sarrazin has fought his way back into the points and is seventh tonight. The ex-F1 ace complained that he had chosen the wrong tyre compounds for SS8, but from being 14th Friday night he has made remarkable progress.

Daniel Sola heads the 'privateer battle' in eighth. He had been fifth on the leader-board, until hydraulic problems in SS13, at least though he is still on course to pick up a point.

Further-down the pack, Petter Solberg is just outside the points in ninth, after gearshift problems this morning dropped him from fourth overall to twelfth, while Harri Rovanpera completes the top ten for Mitsubishi.



Related Pictures

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