Citroën Racing

Loeb set for Acropolis victory

Loeb set for Acropolis victory
By AutoSport

27/05/2012 at 17:08

Sebastien Loeb is cruising towards Acropolis Rally victory following Petter Solberg's retirement.

A big battle between the top two had been expected on the final day in Greece after Solberg's Ford closed to within 10 seconds of Loeb's Citroen on Saturday afternoon.

But those hopes of an exciting finish were dashed on Sunday's Aghil Theodori opener when Solberg crashed and took the left rear wheel off his Ford, ending his rally and leaving the disappointed former champion apologising to his team.

Citroen is now on course for a one-two finish, with Loeb holding a two-minute lead over team-mate Mikko Hirvonen with three stages to go, and Jari-Matti Latvala set to at least salvage third for Ford.

Mads Ostberg (Adapta Ford), Martin Prokop (Czech Ford) and Thierry Neuville (Citroen Junior) complete a top six all driving gently towards the finish with big gaps between them.

Three of the drivers returning under Rally 2 on Sunday morning hit trouble almost immediately and stopped on the opening stage.

Nasser Al-Attiyah went off and damaged his Qatar Citroen's radiator, Evgeny Novikov decided his M-Sport Ford was not in a fit state to continue after all and returned to service, and Andreas Mikkelsen broke his Volkswagen Skoda's suspension.

Leading positions after SS19:

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 4h17m09.6s

2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 2m01.2s

3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 4m46.8s

4. Mads Ostberg Adapta Ford + 7m52.1s

5. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 8m50.2s

6. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior + 11m08.9s

7. Sebastien Ogier VW Skoda + 13m20.3s

8. Yazeed Al Rahji Yazeed Ford + 20m21.4s

9. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 24m50.5s

10. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Seashore Mini + 27m26.5s