Loeb extends Monte Carlo lead
Monaco - Nine-times world rally champion Sebastien Loeb won two of Thursday's eight stages to take extend his overall lead on the second day of the Monte Carlo Rally.
Loeb, competing in one of only four races the Frenchman will contest this season after going into semi-retirement, has won six of the past seven Monte Carlo Rallies and looks set for another triumph. The Citroen driver leads countryman Sebastien Ogier, who won the first stage of the day, by 1 minute, 34.8 seconds - adding nearly 15 seconds to his overnight lead over Ogier, who is also driving a Citroen.
"It's incredible how much snow there was today," Loeb said. "You really had to ensure you kept the car steady on a steady line."
Spaniard Daniel Sordo climbed from fourth place overall to third in his Citroen but is 2:38 behind Loeb.
Loeb won't secure a 10th straight world title as he will race only in Sweden, Argentina and France this year after Monte Carlo.
Evgeny Novikov of Russia won two stages in his Ford to move up from sixth overall to fourth.
Standings after six specials of the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally on Thursday:
1. Sebastien Loeb (FRA/Citroen DS3) 3hr 16min 29:1sec, 2. Sebastien Ogier (FRA/Volkswagen Polo-R) at 1:35.0, 3. Dani Sordo (ESP/Citroen DS3) 2:38.0, 4. Evgueny Novikov (RUS/Ford Fiesta RS) 2:53.2, 5. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN/Citroen DS3) 3:22.7, 6. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN/Volkswagen Polo-R) 3:43.2, 7. Juho Hanninen (FIN/Ford Fiesta RS) 4:11.3, 8. Bryan Bouffier (FRA/Citroen DS3) 5:45.8, 9. Mads Ostberg (NOR/Ford Fiesta RS) 5:49.5, 10. Martin Prokop (CZE/Ford Fiesta RS) 14:15.6
Thierry Neuville (BEL/Ford Fiesta RS)
Special stage winners:
Loeb 5 (SS2 to SS4, SS8, SS10), Ogier 2 (SS1, SS5), Novikov 2 (SS6, SS7), Hanninen 1 (SS9)