14 Jun 08
Championship leader Sebastien Loeb says running first on road remains a disadvantage - even on stages which have been driven before.
Far from finding a swept racing line on the repeat run, Loeb said the different lines taken by some of the competitors further down the order meant there remained plenty of loose material on the road.
“Sometimes the second pass can be even worse that he first,” Loeb said at the end of the repeated Silyon test (SS13). “It’s so slippery and I have to make a completely new line.”
Despite being hampered by his road position, and lying 34 seconds off the lead after SS13, Loeb insisted his fight in Turkey wasn’t over. “I’m still pushing as hard as I can, he said. “I don’t think I could drive any better. It’s not finished yet.”
Hirvonen, Latvala and Sordo were the three fastest drivers through the stage, with Hirvonen extending his rally lead over Jari-Matti Latvala to 12 seconds exactly.
“We’re getting there,” Hirvonen said at the stage end. “I struggled a bit with my brakes there, but lucky they worked okay. It’s hard work though.”
Despite frantic efforts before the stage to fix his engine, Galli continued to lose time through the 27km section and the Italian dropped to eighth place. “I don’t know what it its, but we’re missing power,” said Galli. “We tried, but there was nothing we could do. Maybe it’s a broken pipe, something on the turbo, I don’t know.”