Stage data: SS7, Soultzeren-Pays Welche 2 (19.93 kilometres)
By Citroen Junior World Rally Team co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul: “This is a new stage for everybody. It’s uphill at the beginning, very wide and not bumpy at all. With the World Rally Car it should be a very beautiful stage inside the car for a crew. The finish is downhill and it’s possible to attack in this stage because it’s new for everybody. The grip is good and if the pace notes are efficient then we hope to push in this stage.”
How the action unfolded:
Sebastien Loeb will head to the day-closing Mulhouse town centre stage tonight leading Rallye de France Alsace by 15.6s following his victory on the repeat of the Soultzeren-Pays Welche test.
Citroen ace Loeb had been coming under increasing pressure from Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala but his fastest time, by 3.1s over Latvala’s team-mate Petter Solberg, hands him a slightly more comfortable advantage.
Latvala, was third fastest, 3.2s down on Loeb, said: “In the dirty places where there is mud and gravel we are struggling but where it is clean then it is fine for us.”
Solberg, meanwhile, is 2.1s behind third-placed Mikko Hirvonen despite reporting a slight loss of time at a hairpin. Fellow Norwegian Mads Ostberg also dropped a few seconds after going off the road a few times.
The 4.65-kilometre Mulhouse stage goes live at 18:35hrs local time.