Subaru's Petter Solberg continued his perfect start to leg two today on the Rally GB, by going quickest through both SS10 and SS11, the Norwegian extending his advantage to nearly 25 seconds.

The second pass through a slightly damper Crychan [SS10], due to cars having removed the dry top layer on the first run through, saw Solberg scoop his third consecutive win of the day.

Championship contender Sebastien Loeb was third fastest, finishing 5.7 seconds slower. Running on Pirelli tyres, the winning choice on last year's event, Solberg's team-mate Tommi Makinen was fourth fastest. Locked in a battle for overall third with Colin McRae, the Finn maintained excellent traction through the slippery test and shaved 2.3 seconds off his previous time set in SS8. Colin McRae was second fastest and at the finish, 8.6 seconds separated the pair.

Continuing to struggle with his Fabia's differential and clutch problems, Toni Gardemeister dropped another 45 seconds to the leaders, while Harri Rovanpera was seventh, commenting that his early morning tyre selection had been incorrect. Once the stage was complete, crews moved to the start of SS11.

Running fifteenth on the road, Solberg found the conditions very slippery on the second pass through Halfway [SS11], as the leading cars swept the dry top layer off the surface, exposing a wetter sub-layer, which didn't suit his hard compound tyres. However he was again fastest, to clinch his eighth win of the event and extend his overall lead to 24.7 seconds.

"The stages were good, no major problems," said Solberg, "It seemed that on those last two [SS10 and SS11], everyone was on tyres that were perhaps too hard. We certainly found that we could have gone softer, but I'm happy with my position. There's no crazy attack, but for sure I'm going quite quickly. We've increased the speed compared to yesterday because we need that extra time. You never know when something might happen and you might need it."

Fellow title hopeful Loeb was second fastest, with Makinen third. Wearing a pair of embroidered golden boots to commemorate his final event as a full-time WRC driver, the four-times World Champion increased his lead over McRae to 11.8 seconds.

"It's really good fun to drive on the stages today," commented Tommi. "The road surface looks dry, but it's still very slippery. The car is perfect, it's a good fight with Colin and I'm really enjoying myself."

Francois Duval was fifth fastest in his Focus, ahead of Peugeot drivers Rovanpera and Freddy Loix. Roman Kresta stalled his Bozian Racing 206 on the start, and dropped from eighth overall to ninth.

The action will now resume at 13.13 [local time], with SS12, Margam Forest [17.37km].

 

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