Latvala stays in charge

2012-02-11 21:45

Hagfors - Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland stretched his lead over compatriot Mikko Hirvonen to 23 seconds on Saturday, the second day of the Rally Sweden.

The pair had traded the lead during the opening day, but Latvala remained in front throughout on day two, topping four of the day's eight stages.

Norwegian Petter Solberg remains third, 51.4 seconds behind Latvala, with his countryman Mads Ostberg fourth, one minute, 2.5 seconds behind.

Eight-time world champion Sebastien Loeb, who lost two minutes on Friday after driving off the road, endured further misery with a spin and a puncture.

The Frenchman improved from seventh to sixth overall but is out of contention as he trails Latvala by almost three minutes.

Six stages remain on Sunday.

Rally of Sweden results at end of Saturday's action:

1. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN/Ford Fiesta RS) 2h30:08.0, 2. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN/Citren DS3) at 23.0, 3. Petter Solberg (NOR/Ford Fiesta RS) 51.4, 4. Mads Ostberg (NOR/Ford) 1:02.5, 5. Evgeny Novikov (RUS/Ford Fiesta RS) 2:13.1, 6. Sbastien Loeb (FRA/Citren DS3) 2:57.5, 7. Henning Solberg (NOR/Ford) 3:02.4, 8. Patrik Sandell (SWE/Mini) 4:31.8, 9. Martin Prokop (CZE/Ford Fiesta RS) 4:34.4, 10. Eyvind Brynildsen (NOR/Ford Fiesta) 5:08.7, 11. Sbastien Ogier (FRA/Skoda Fabia) 5:54.1

Stage winners:

Sordo 1 (SS1), Latvala 6 (SS2, SS8, SS11, SS12, SS15, SS16), Ostberg 1 (SS2), Loeb 3 (SS3, SS6, SS18), Hirvonen 5 (SS4, S5, SS7, SS13, SS17), Solberg 2 (SS9, SS10), Tanak 2 (SS14, SS18).