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SS11 : Dramatic stage victory for Loeb

Tactics come into play

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By www.wrc.com

29 July 2011 - 19:36
SS11 : Dramatic stage victory for (...)

Sebastien Loeb has gone fastest on Friday’s final stage to retake the lead of Neste Oil Rally Finland from Citroen team-mate Sebastien Ogier.

It means the seven-time world champion will start first on the road on the final day with a 1.5s lead after Ogier slowed during the stage to avoid running at the head of the field over Saturday’s 11 stages.

Loeb checked in one minute late at the stage start, which incurred a 10-second time penalty, in an attempt to ensure he would run behind Ogier on Saturday. But Ogier responded by slowing.

Jari-Matti Latvala, running third on the road, was the main beneficiary. Although he dropped time, the combination of Loeb’s penalty and Ogier’s reduced pace on the final stage means the Finn will start day three 2.6s off the lead in third position, which is expected to hand the Ford driver an advantage due to the effect of road cleaning.

Mikko Hirvonen has moved ahead of Dani Sordo into sixth overall after the MINI driver reported making a mistake and going off the road.

MINI driver Armindo Araujo and Volkswagen Motorsport’s Andreas Mikkelsen both spun during the stage.

Pos.DriverCarTime
01 S. LOEB / D. ELENA Citroën DS3 WRC 1h29m01.3s
02 S. OGIER / J. INGRASSIA Citroën DS3 WRC +1.5s
03 J. LATVALA / M. ANTTILA Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2.6s
04 P. SOLBERG / C. PATTERSSON Citroën DS3 WRC +29.2s
05 M. ØSTBERG / J. ANDERSSON Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1m00.1s
06 M. HIRVONEN / J. LEHTINEN Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1m28.7s
07 D. SORDO / C. DEL BARRIO MINI WRC +1m36.2s
08 K. MEEKE / P. NAGLE MINI WRC +1m51.0s
09 J. HANNINEN / M. MARKKULA Skoda Fabia S2000 +2m04.0s
10 H. SOLBERG / I. MINOR Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m06.1s
11 M. WILSON / S. MARTIN Ford Fiesta RS WRC +2m16.9s
12 K. RAIKKONEN / K. LINDSTRÖM Citroën DS3 WRC +2m20.5s
13 M. PROKOP / J. TOMÁNEK FORD Fiesta S2000 +3m31.7s
14 D. KUIPERS / F. MICLOTTE Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3m28.3s
15 A. MIKKELSEN / O. FLOENE SKODA Fabia S2000 +4m14.8s

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