Sebastian Loeb continues to dominate Rally Germany as he further extended his lead over Citroen Total teammate Dani Sordo during today’s second leg. The French ace was able to extend the lead to 35.7 seconds over his Spanish teammate over the always treacherous Panzerplatte arena section of the rally. There were also two key retirements as Mikko Hirvonen would fail to finish the day with a transmission issue and Stobart stand in Francois Duval would roll his Ford on the second run throught the Panzerplatte stage. Of course you guessed it, hinkelstein impact sent the car in the air and onto its top. The crash was not Petter Solberg 2004, but it was pretty heavy none the less. Let’s face it, we knew it would happen to someone right?
Sebastian Ogier would take the final podium spot after errors from Jari Matti Latvala would see him to fourth. The nightmares continue at Ford on tarmac, but the group has looked a lot better since Bulgaria and it may be something to build on. With Hirvonen’s early exit however, the 2010 campaign is all but mathmatically over for him. That has to be the real disappointment after a promising start to the year.
Kimi Raikkonen would see better results this day as he would climb into P6. The ex-Formula 1 driver would set some rather quick times, but only moved up positions due to the other retirements. He did overshoot a corner in SS9 but was able to make up the error. All in all a great weekend for Kimi as he nets some valuable expirience for next season. Kimi also came out and indicated that a return to Formula 1 was not likely. This was not really a surprise as there are currently no top tier teams searching for drivers.
Ken Block would continue to impress as well. The American has finished two days of the rally and looks to net his first points of the year tomorrow. P8 will be his finishing position once he gets around Hirvonen who is still classified in that position currently. Block has also gained valuable expirience for next year and suprisingly looks to finish his first WRC event on tarmac. Slightly ironic to say the least.
Tomorrow will see only 5 stages and the event is Sebastian’s by a mile. Only a mechanical error or severe driver gaf will award Dani Sordo his first win. The real battle will be between Sebastian Ogier and Jari Matti for the final podium position.