Skip to main content

World champion Loeb extends Ireland lead

  • Story Highlights
  • World champion Sebastien Loeb in command after second day of Rally of Ireland
  • Citroen's Loeb leads by 69 seconds from teammate Dani Sordo
  • Finland's Mikko Hirvonen loses ground in third place after mechanical problem
  • Next Article in World Sport »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- Sebastien Loeb stretched his lead over Citroen teammate Dani Sordo to one minute and nine seconds after the second day of the season-opening Rally of Ireland.

Loeb has made the perfexct start in his bid for a sixth straight title.

Loeb has made the perfexct start in his bid for a sixth straight title.

The five-time world champion claimed victory on five of Saturday's six stages in continued difficult conditions.

French ace Loeb could even afford the luxury of going briefly off the road on the penultimate stage but held on to his commanding advantage.

"We have a nice lead now -- everything was okay," Loeb told Press Association.

"The tire choice was easy - the stages have been just as tricky as Friday's. But yesterday we were on the normal tarmac tires, and it wasn't working well."

"Once again the conditions have been very difficult, with so much water on the road and different grip all over the place," he added.

"We were aquaplaning a lot, but overall I'm happy with the performance of the car and everything else."

Ford's Mikko Hirvonen hit trouble when his car's power-steering pump failed and he dropped two and a half minutes off the pace in third.

Norway's Henning Solberg holds fourth place overnight after fending off a strong attack from Chris Atkinson of Australia.

The rally finishes on Sunday with Loeb now hot favorite to begin the season with a commanding win.

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print