BP Ford team leader, Marcus Gronholm has finished the second day of the Acropolis Rally of the Greece with a very solid lead, more than 40 seconds up on his nearest rival.

Going into the leg, the Finn led by just 8.3 seconds, but he soon set the standard this morning and was 10.7 seconds quicker than the next best runner in SS10, the first test of the day - the monster 48.88 kilometre Agii Theodori stage.

The Finn then backed that up with three more second quickest times in SS11, SS12 and SS13, despite a small spin in Agia Triada and as such he returned to the mid-day service area having more or less doubled his cushion to 15.8 seconds.

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In the afternoon, Gronholm once again made use of the longest stage and was 19.9 seconds up on Petter Solberg. He was then second quickest in SS15 and SS16, the final 'proper' tests of days and following the super special finished up with a 43.3 second cushion.

Sebastien Loeb meanwhile is his nearest challenger having moved up from fourth place overnight. The Frenchman was engaged in a close fight with Petter Solberg for the runners-up spot for most of the day and he only got ahead this afternoon, thanks in part to three quickest stage times in his C4 and the fact the Norwegian was slowed by a mechanical problem.

Seb himself was slowed slightly by a puncture in SS10 and SS14, but other than that had no problems. The Citroen man reckons though that there is little chance of winning now.

Petter, who went into the mid-day service 4.7 seconds up on Loeb, lost ground in SS15 and SS16 due to a front left damper problem which compromised his pace. He was only fifth and ninth fastest in those two stages, having been setting top three times prior to his issue. He ended the day 24.3 seconds adrift of second place.

Outside of the top three, Mikko Hirvonen is a lonely fourth in the second BP Ford Focus WRC car. Mikko lost a lot of ground to the top three this morning in the first test when he went off the road at high-speed and had quite a big off.

Although he was lucky to be able to continue, his pace for the rest of the morning was affected, as he had to compete with a broken windscreen. In the end he finished up more than one minute off Petter in third and 30 seconds up on Henning Solberg, who holds fifth.

Henning wasn't overly happy with the set-up on his Stobart Ford Focus this morning and while things were somewhat better in the afternoon, in the end he opted for a cautious approach.

Further down the order, Chris Atkinson is sixth after a pretty torrid day. He had been third overnight for Subaru but lost ground in SS10 this morning with a flat tyre.

The afternoon though was even worse and damper problems in SS15 and SS16 dropped him down behind Henning. Indeed he lost more than 60 seconds in the final proper test of the day and finished up more than a minute behind the Stobart driver.

Atkinson wasn't the only driver to have difficulties this afternoon and Manfred Stohl and Jari-Matti Latvala both lost time on the second run through Agii Theodori.

Stohl had to stop and change a tyre, which dropped him to eighth, behind Skoda privateer, Jan Kopecky, while Latvala had three punctures in the same test and went from eighth overall right down to 14th. The Finn finished the day in 13th position.

Britain's Guy Wilks is just one place outside of the points in his Ramsport-run Ford Focus WRC - 30 seconds off Stohl, while Matthew Wilson completes the top ten in the third Stobart Ford entry, 40 seconds further adrift.

Aris Vovos finished the day eleventh and Luis-Perez Companc was twelfth in the Munchi's Ford Focus. Like Stohl and Latvala, Companc lost time in SS10 and had to stop to change a tyre due to a puncture.

In the Production Car World Rally Championship category, Toshi Arai continues to lead, now over 2 minutes up on Juho Hanninen, who fell back on the second loop.

Andreas Aigner is on course for the final place on the PWRC podium - 19.7 seconds up on Armindo Araujo, while Mirco Baldacci and Mark Higgins round out the top six.

There were two more significant retirements - with Munchi's Ford's Federico Villagra and Citroen's Daniel Sordo joining Francois Duval on the sidelines.

Villagra was forced to stop after SS10 this morning due to clutch problems, while Sordo had transmission problems in SS12. It is not yet known if they will be able to re-start under the SupeRally or if that is the end of the event for them like Duval.

The action now continues on Sunday - five stages lay in wait, around 80 competitive kilometres. The first test, the 20.00 kilometre-run through Avlonas 1 gets underway at 07.33 hours local time.