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Greece - day 2: Loeb survives, field decimated.

Citroen team leader Sebastien Loeb came through a dramatic second day of the Acropolis Rally of Greece still on top - despite picking up a puncture this morning and dropping behind his team-mate Daniel Sordo.

Loeb started the second day 15.7 seconds up on Sordo, but saw his advantage cut nearly in half on the opening 32.16 kilometre Aghii Theodori test, the longest and roughest of the rally.

The Frenchman, who was running first on the road, was only sixth quickest in SS8 and was clearly suffering as he swept away the loose gravel to leave a faster and cleaner line for those behind.

Seb lost even more time in SS9 however, when he had a left rear puncture around halfway through, something that cost him 30 seconds and dropped him behind Sordo in the sister C4 WRC. Despite setting the second best time in SS10, Loeb finished the morning loop on the back-foot, 16.4 seconds off P1.

On the repeat run this afternoon the pendulum swung the other way and with Sordo picking up a puncture in each test, Loeb was bumped back up into the lead, regaining top spot in SS12 and then concluding the leg almost 30 seconds up on his closest rival.

"It was a hot and rough day and it hasn't been easy. Luckily, the car is OK, but in the last stages we had to drive slowly," said Loeb.

"We didn't push. It was hard for the tyres and very rough. I was not happy with the car in SS11. It was bouncing so much I thought the suspension was broken. It is going to be a difficult day tomorrow [Sunday] since I will be cleaning the road again."

Subaru's Petter Solberg meanwhile is on course for the runners-up spot in the new Impreza WRC2008, which is making its debut in the World Rally Championship this weekend. Petter took it carefully during the day but still set some very, very competitive times, including a second fastest effort in SS11, plus two third fastest times and two fourths.

"I am very happy," said 'Hollywood'. "We drove very carefully. The day has been good for us. We will have the same tactic tomorrow, because we don't want to take any risks. We just need to finish. We faced no major problems."



Related Pictures

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Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroen C4, Citroen Total World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Fabio Andolfi (ITA) Manuel Fenoli (ITA) HYUNDAI i20 R5, ACI TEAM ITALIA
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) SKODA FABIA R5, SKODA MOTORSPORT
21.05.2017 - JEAN-MICHEL RAOUX (FRA) - THOMAS ESCARTEFIGUE (FRA) CITROEN DS3 WRC
21.05.2017 - Valeriy Gorban (UKR)-Sergei Larens (EST) BMW‐Mini John Cooper Works, Eurolamp World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Essapeka Lappi (FIN) Janne Ferm (FIN), TOYOTA YARIS WRC, TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT

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