Day 2 mid-day Monte – Loeb leads

Day 2 of the Monte Carlo Rally kicks off with the 19km Labatie d’Andaure stage. the road conditions were expected to be better than on day 1, with patches of frost in SS5, damp to wet roads in SS6 and dry in SS7.

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The current Rally leader was Loeb, with over a minute lead he didnt take to many risk’s but went out to extend the gap slightly. The closest battle of the morning was that for 2nd place between the remaining works Ford driver Petter Solberg and Mini driver Dani Sordo. Solberg took a mix tyre choice of 2 soft’s & 2 Super Softs. the norwegian felt comfortable with them once they warmed up and was 2nd fastest on the opening stage. Moving him up to take 2nd place with Sordo dropping to 3rd.

But on the following stage, the infamous 25km St Bonnet stage. Sordo fought back and went 3rd fastest, taking 2.2 out of Solberg and re-taking his 2nd place back. Loeb was once again fastest, saying at stage end, “It was OK, no problem at all at the moment, the Stages are cleaning, bit humid, some black stuff, no ice. Tyres are working very well on this one, maybe not the best for the last one, but a lot to lose in these conditions”. Loebs new team mate an ex-Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen was 2nd fastest on SS6 once he got up to speed and found a good rhythm. Delecour had a moment and came to stage end without his front bumper, having intercom problems he was unable to hear the pace notes from his co-driver.

In the final stage of the morning Loeb once again went fastest, extending his overall lead to 1:23.2 as the battle for 2nd continued. Despite Petter Solberg saying that he is driving for team and points, meaning no risk taking, he went 2nd fastest and Solberg and Sordo once again swapped places, with Solberg re-claiming his 2nd place going into mid-day service.

1 loeb

2 Solberg +1:23.2

3 sordo +3.7

4 hirvonen +1:39.1

5Ogier +7.4

6 Novikov + 2.6

7 Delecour +51.9

8 Compana +1:23.7

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