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Loeb holds Rally of Jordan advantage

Sebastien Loeb's Citroen is 24 seconds of his rivals going into the final day of the Rally of Jordan.
Sebastien Loeb's Citroen is 24 seconds of his rivals going into the final day of the Rally of Jordan.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sebastien Loeb holds a 24-second lead going into the third day of the Rally of Jordan
  • The six-times world champion moved up from third position on the opening day
  • Loeb's world title rival Mikko Hirvonen forced to retire after crashing out
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(CNN) -- Six-time world champion Sebastien Loeb holds a 24-second lead going into the third and final day of the Rally of Jordan.

The Citroen driver came into the day in third position, but eventually overhauled leader Jari-Matti Latvala to go into Saturday with the advantage -- and Loeb now looks well on course for his second race victory of the season.

Sebastien Ogier, driving another Citroen, lies second with Ford's Lavala 27.7 second back in third position.

Frenchman Loeb was given a boost when title rival Mikko Hirvonen was forced to withdraw after breaking the left suspension of his Ford Focus in a crash on the first stage of the day.

The only disadvantage for Loeb is that he now goes into the final day as the first car out, meaning he clears the road of loose gravel and leaves a cleaner surface for his rivals.

"Hirvonen hasn't retired from a rally since making a mistake at the Rally of Mexico in 2006. It's a bit of a shock," Ford official Malcom Wilson told reporters.