Loeb Still in the Lead At Monte Carlo
With Saturday’s first two stages safely behind him, Sébastien Loeb extended his lead to 2 minutes, 41 seconds ahead of Dani Sordo.
The fight for the two remaining podiums is still very intense as there’s only 19 seconds separating Mini’s Danny Sordo & Petter Solberg who are 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Loeb, who has led the event since Wednesday’s SS4, appears not to be taking risks to secure his sixth Monte success, “There were quite a lot of stones either side of the stage, and it was quite narrow, so I did my best to stay in the middle of the road…”
His teammate, Mikko Hirvonen was on a mission, and that is to snatch third place from Petter Solberg (Ford/Michelin). The Finn was fastest on the Col du Turini test (SS14) but the Norwegian responded with the best effort on the following stage, “I made a small mistake towards the end, so I think Mikko will beat me,” Two minutes later, Mikko showed up nearly 10s off Solberg’s pace: “I was a bit too careful through the damp portions. There are still two night-time stages to come and I think third place is still possible…”
Overall after S17
01 LOEB Sébastien (FRA) 4:29:12:100
02 SORDO Daniel (ESP) +0:02:41:600
03 SOLBERG Petter (NOR) +0:03:00:700
04 HIRVONEN Mikko (FIN) +0:04:05:600
05 NOVIKOV Evgeny (RUS) +0:06:00:800
06 DELECOUR François (FRA) +0:06:55:700
07 CAMPANA Pierre (FRA) +0:08:21:300
08 TANAK Ott (EST) +0:10:27:200
09 PROKOP Martin (CZE) +0:16:06:300
10 ARAUJO Armindo (PRT) +0:16:09:200
Competitors will get a chance to add to their points totals when Rallye Monte-Carlo hosts its first ever Power Stage.
Bonus points will be on offer to the fastest three drivers with the stage winner receiving three points, the second-placed driver two points and the third quickest competitor one point.
Carlos del Barrio, who co-drives second-placed Dani Sordo, describes the power stage as: “Very twisty, very demanding for the tyres and very easy to have a puncture.”
Wish the teams best of luck on their last outing of the event.
Pictures courtesy Rallye-Sport.Fr
Footage courtesy Best Of Rallye Live.com