Kronos Citroen team leader, Sebastien Loeb will go into the final leg of the Rally Argentina, the sixth round in the 2006 FIA World Rally Championship, having more than doubled his advantage at the top of the leaderboard.

Although the Frenchman only managed to win one test on Saturday, he was quicker than his nearest rival, Petter Solberg on all four stages this morning and as such he increased his lead from 20 seconds at the end of leg 1 to 57.5 seconds heading into the mid-day service.

Furthermore while 'Hollywood' came back in the afternoon and won two tests, Loeb was seemingly pacing himself and will start the third leg with a 43.1 second lead.

He now looks poised to win in Argentina for the second year on the trot and to take his fourth win in succession, something that will further strengthen his position at the top of the drivers' championship, especially as his nearest rival, Marcus Gronholm looks unlikely to score.

Solberg meanwhile lies in a lonely second place, too far off Loeb to really trouble him and nearly two minutes up on Gigi Galli, who is third.

The Norwegian had a generally trouble-free day, his only real drama in SS12 when he was slightly delayed when a gear lever arm broke just before a watersplash. He only lost three seconds to Loeb through the test though as he reverted to the manual gearshift for the remainder of the stage and after the finish made a temporary lever using a locking wrench. His major complaint was that he chose the wrong tyres for the first loop something that has cost him any chance of going for 'gold'.

Galli is also comfortable in third and providing he has no problems on Sunday will secure his first ever podium finish in the WRC and on only his second event with the Pirelli backed Peugeot 307, his first time with it on gravel.

OMV Peugeot duo, Henning Solberg and Manfred Stohl remain locked in a battle for fourth, 5 seconds separating the two. However both have dropped back from being in contention for third. Brake problems and a poor tyre choice slowed Henning this morning on his first appearance in Argentina and while he was quicker this afternoon and was joint fastest with his brother through SS14, he is still some way off Galli, about a minute back.

Stohl has also lost time and from being right up with Galli is now back behind his team-mate, following two seperate spins in SS12 and SS13.

Further down the order, Chris Atkinson has put in a charge and overhauled Daniel Sordo, who remains on the whole, unhappy with his times in the third Kronos ran Xsara. Considering this is just his second event with a WRC car on gravel though, two points at the finish won't be that bad.

Stobart VK duo, Luiz-Perez Companc and Matthew Wilson lie eighth and ninth, the former having overhauled his young rival in SS17, after gradually having closed in on the Englishman during the second loop.

SupeRally re-starter, Marcus Gronholm rounds out the top ten, having climbed up from 20th position overall. The Finn though is still someway off eighth and a possible drivers' point, nearly 5 minutes behind Companc. Unless any of the drivers' ahead have problems he looks unlikely to score, although he will pick up one manufacturers' point for BP Ford, scant consolation for the team after they looked like winning on Friday, until the Focus lost drive in SS8.

The other 'works' runner still going is Xavier Pons, who lies 17th and who like Gronholm re-started after going out on day one. The main highlight of the day for him was his quickest time in SS13, his first stage win with a WRC car.

Mikko Hirvonen however was not able to re-start and is currently the sole 'works' retirement. The BP Ford number two driver went out on SS9 on Friday with engine problems, the damage sustained too great for him to be able to rejoin the action.

In the two support categories, Nasser Al-Attiyah has taken over the lead in the Production Car WRC, after Sebastian Beltran went out on SS14. Al-Attiyah is 59.9 seconds up on Leszek Kuzaj, who is also in a Subaru Impreza, while Mirco Baldacci is on course to complete the podium.

As for the Junior WRC class, Guy Wilks is still top for Suzuki, over 9 minutes ahead of Patrik Sandell, while P-G Andersson, who re-started under the SupeRally format, is third. Jaan Molder, the only other JWRC runner to take in this event, was forced out on SS13 when he hit a rock and broke the suspension on his Fiesta. He will re-start on Sunday fourth in the class, nearly 1 hour behind Wilks!

The action now resumes on Sunday at 09.43 hours local time [13.43 hours British time]. Two more 'proper' tests remain, while the event will end as it started, with two runs through the Cordoba 2.20 kilometre Super Specials.

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