Stage data: SS6, Drossohori (22.00 kilometres)
By M-Sport Ford Rally Team co-driver Denis Giraudet: “This stage is climbing with lots of slow corners so there is a lot of wheelspin. This can also destroy your tyres so you have to take it a little bit easy and not push too hard. But it’s not easy for a driver to do this.”
How the action unfolded:
Petter Solberg is concerned that he may have damaged his Ford Fiesta RS WRC on stage six of the Acropolis Rally, which saw Sebastien Loeb pull further away in the lead.
While Loeb took his first stage win of the weekend for Citroen and stretched his overall lead to 10.1 seconds, Solberg fell from third to fourth following an impact with a rock. The incident cost him eight seconds and caused a punture, but the Norwegian was more concerned about potential propshaft damage.
"I haven't gone wide or anything, but over a crest was a rock," said Solberg. "I don't know what's happened. It hit in the middle of the car."
It was a tough stage for Ford, with Solberg's team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala dropping a further 4.4s to Loeb in their battle for victory.
"When it's muddy and soft, I don't like the car," said Latvala. "Somehow the set-up is not quite right now."
Like most of the field, Loeb was running hard tyres for the Drossohori stage, and felt that the level of mud in places was tough for his choice of rubber.
"It's really tricky, very muddy and we have a hard tyre, so the grip is not extremely good," said Loeb. "But I did a good stage, no mistakes in those muddy places."
The only frontrunner who guessed right on tyres was Citroen's rising star Thierry Neuville. The young Belgian ran two softs in a crossover pattern and was second quickest, drawing him to within 8s of Ott Tanak in their battle for seventh.
With Solberg's delay, Mikko Hirvonen is back up to third overall, 15s behind Loeb and 4.9s behind Latvala. Evgeny Novikov continues to fend off Mads Ostberg for fifth.