16 August 2008
Germany - day 2: Loeb just sensational.
Citroen number one driver Sebastien Loeb doubled his overnight advantage on day two of the Rallye Deutschland on Saturday, finishing proceedings with a 40.3 second lead.
Just like on the opening leg, the Frenchman was in a class of his own and he won all four tests on the opening loop. He thus returned to the mid-day halt with his cushion up to 35.9 seconds and while he did have a bit of a scare in SS9, when he almost went off the road near the finish, that was his only real drama.
In the afternoon Seb continued to push and he posted an additional three fastest times in SS11, SS12 and SS13. It was only in the final test of the day that his team-mate Dani Sordo spoilt his run and prevented him from taking a perfect 14 from 14, Seb losing out as he was 2.7 seconds slower.
"At the moment, all is going well. The car is running perfectly. I hope that we can continue like this tomorrow," reflected the four-time world champion. "There are still five stages to go, but I am confident. The fact that Dani is second is also quite pleasant."
Sordo meanwhile grabbed P2 immediately this morning, overhauling Mikko Hirvonen in SS7. The Spaniard then eased out a gap and in addition to topping the times in the repeat run through Arena Panzerplatte, he was second quickest in all the other tests, except SS9 when he was third.
"It was a very good day for me," noted Dani, who is now just over a minute up on P3. "The feeling with the car is very different. Yesterday, it didn't go very well with the tyres and I still lacked confidence in the car, but it is getting better and better all the time.
"For the manufacturers' standings, it would be great to score a one-two here, which would allow us to take an advantage over Ford."
Francois Duval is third, having moved up in the final test when Mikko Hirvonen slipped back following a puncture. Duval had a pretty trouble-free day, his only issue in SS10 when he ripped off a bumper.
"It was quite difficult today. Today, we changed the diffs as I wasn't happy with the set-up we had yesterday. It was better, but having been out of the series for seven months means that I still have to find my way back," he conceded. "I am happy with third place though, but I am well aware of the fact that Mikko Hirvonen is hot on my heels."
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