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Loeb three stages from win number ten.

Local favourite Dani Sola added to Ford's woe by crashing out on SS9, joining Gigi Galli and Alex Bengue on the day's retirement list. Galli's was perhaps the most embarrassing exit, as the Italian crashed his Mitsubishi after the flying finish on SS8 - a stage on which he claimed fastest time. Bengue looked good for a points position only to fall foul of gearbox problems on SS8.

There were also casualties in the JWRC, where Mirco Baldacci and Guy Wilks both dropped out of the lead. Following Daniel Sordo's overnight penalty, the Italian and Britain had the chance to shoot for class glory, but Wilks succumbed on SS8, leaving Baldacci in a two-horse race for a further two stages.

Sordo, meanwhile, was closing in all the while and, with just three seconds between himself and the class lead, saw Baldacci depart. The Citroen driver duly regained the lead he had held at the end of leg one, but now enjoys a four-minute lead over second placed Kosti Katajamaki, the JWRC title seemingly even deeper in his pocket.


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