13 October 2007
France - leg 2: Loeb dominates.
Duval's problems pushed Jari-Matti Latvala up to P4, 7 seconds up on Petter Solberg, his nearest challenger. The Stobart Ford man had a strong day and set three top five times, overhauling 'Hollywood' for P5 in SS8 and then inching further away this afternoon.
Petter had problems with his tyres on the first loop and then continued to struggle with over-steer in SS10, SS11 and SS12 - just like on day 1. He remains in contention though for fourth and the battle between him and Latvala could be one of the highlights on the final day.
Further back, Chris Atkinson and Xavier Pons are sixth and seventh, while Skoda privateer, Jan Kopkecy rounds out the provisional points' scorers, followed by Stobart Ford duo, Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson.
Outside of the top ten, Dani Sola finished the day in eleventh with Brice Tirabassi 12th - both fighting over the Group N spoils in their Peugeot 207 S2000s.
In the FIA Junior Rally Championship category, Martin Prokop leads in his Citroen C2 S1600 having benefited from the problems that hit Suzuki duo, Urmo Aava and Per-Gunnar Andersson in SS8.
Aava, who was leading by more than 10 seconds, made a crucial error and crashed out in Calcatoggio 1. It has yet to be confirmed if he will be able to re-start or not. If he cannot P-G is guaranteed the Junior title as while they are equal top in the JRC standings - both having scored 38 points, P-G has the edge in terms of wins, three to Urmo's 1.
SS8 though wasn't kind to Andersson either and he lost over 2 minutes with a puncture, dropping from second to fourth. The Swede finished the day fifth overall.
Jozef Beres is on course for the JRC runners-up spot - 34.9 seconds off Aava, while Conrad Rautenbach completes the podium, a further 35 seconds or so adrift.
Yoann Bonato is next up - fourth in the class and he has had a brilliant day on his first outing in a Citroen C2 S1600, setting the JRC pace in every single test.
Of the 'big' retirees on day 1 - namely Mikko Hirvonen, Nicolas Bernardi and Alessandro Bettega, all three re-started this morning under the SupeRally. The latter made the most progress and finished the day 14th overall, while Hirvonen is now just inside the top 30 in the #2 BP Ford Focus.
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