SS17: Loeb closes on first place

Ogier slowed by power steering fault

By Franck Drui

29 May 2011 - 16:25
SS17: Loeb closes on first place

Sebastien Loeb has closed to within 12.8s of rally leader and Citroen team-mate Sebastien Ogier after winning Sunday’s second test in his DS3 WRC.

Ogier started the stage without the aid of power steering following his roll on the previous test. He was 8.7s slower than Loeb through the run but still holds a narrow advantage out front with Loeb second and Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen 2.2s behind Loeb in third.

“I had no power steering but I do what I can,” said Ogier. “I try and fix the car and it should be okay until the end. That’s the most important now. It will be difficult, we will see, we will try.”

Loeb said: “The battle with Mikko is only two seconds. We can just push and try to fight with Mikko. For the rest we will just see. Mikko is defending very well his place today.”

Hirvonen reported making a few mistakes behind the wheel of his Fiesta: “I’m getting close to Ogier but Loeb is in front of me. It was not a perfect drive on that stage, a few small mistakes.”

Argentine driver Federico Villagra reported a recurrence of the brake problem that also struck his M-Sport Fiesta on Sunday’s opening stage.

Matthew Wilson stopped on the previous run when his M-Sport Stobart Fiesta faltered after a water splash. But following repairs the Briton was able to continue. Ken Block also hit trouble on stage 16 when he suffered a puncture. Both drivers enjoyed trouble-free runs through stage 17, however.

Jari-Matti Latvala was fastest through the stage in his factory Fiesta.

Standings after SS17:

01 S. OGIER / J. INGRASSIA Citroën DS3 WRC 3h58m57.4s
02 S. LOEB / D. ELENA Citroën DS3 WRC +12.8s
03 M. HIRVONEN / J. LEHTINEN Ford Fiesta RS WRC +15.0s
04 P. SOLBERG / C. PATTERSSON Citroën DS3 WRC +46.5s
05 M. ØSTBERG / J. ANDERSSON Ford Fiesta RS WRC +5m22.2s
06 F. VILLAGRA / J. PÉREZ COMPANC Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6m52.9s
07 J. LATVALA / M. ANTTILA Ford Fiesta RS WRC +11m45.6s
08 M. WILSON / S. MARTIN Ford Fiesta RS WRC +13m40.1s
09 H. PADDON / J. KENNARD Subaru Impreza +25m29.5s
10 P. FLODIN / M. ANDERSSON Subaru Impreza +33m17.7s
11 D. TAGIROV / A. ZAVERSHINSKAYA Subaru Impreza +38m49.1s
12 N. FUCHS / F. MUSSANO Mitsubishi Evo X +42m25.4s
13 R. ORLANDINI / J. CILLONIZ Mitsubishi Evo IX +47m17.9s
14 M. SEMERAD / M. ERNST Mitsubishi Evo IX +47m30.7s
15 B. GUERRA / B. ROZADA Mitsubishi Evo X +48m30.4s



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