08 Feb 08
Special stage four proved easily the most dramatic of the event so far and brought problems for many of the WRC competitors, including defending world rally champion Sebastien Loeb who rolled his Citroen C4 WRC.
Loeb was 19km into the 22km stage when he went off. “I was on a left-hand corner and tucked the front wheel a little too much into the snow bank,” said Loeb. “That pulled the car sideways and we rolled over.”
Although external damage was limited to a missing rear spoiler and a dented roof, Loeb was concerned about the mechanical damage caused by his efforts to get the car back on the road: “We damaged the clutch trying to get the car moving again, which is quite worrying. We will see if we can get to the service, but right now it doesn’t look so good.”
Local hero P-G Andersson’s Suzuki SX4 WRC stopped two kilometres before the stage end with an engine problem. It looks likely that he will retire from the day.
The big winner on the stage was Jari-Matti Latvala, who collected his third consecutive stage victory and extended his overall lead to 23 seconds. “That was a hard stage with a lot of snow and a couple of big moments” said Latvala. “But the important thing is we’ve made it through, and now we can relax. I’ve pushed to the maximum this morning, and there have been a couple of places where I could have been a bit tidier, but we’re here!”