24 Jan 08
A storming run from Sebastien Loeb through the day’s second and final stage moved the defending champion ahead of Sordo and into the lead of the rally.
Loeb will start tomorrow’s second day of competition 12.7sec ahead of Sordo, ideally placed to push for a record-breaking fifth Rallye Monte Carlo victory.
The Frenchman said conditions on the second stage were less tricky than they had been on SS1 and he had been able to push harder. But he wasn’t surprised at Dani’s earlier stage winning pace. “I found quite a lot of ice on the first stage, so I took it a little easier,” said Loeb. “Dani really wants to win here. I knew that from the start and he’s pushing me very hard,”
Sordo was second fastest through the 17km stage, and said his missing headlights were one of the reasons he wasn't able to beat Loeb for a second time. ‘It was very difficult for me to get a good feeling in there," said Sordo. "The visibility was bad and the cars ahead had pulled some dirt onto the road, making it very slippery in places.”
Hirvonen set the third fastest time once again, but at the end of the day the two Citroens had pulled 31seconds ahead of the rest of the field.