02 Aug 08
A launch control problem on Mikko Hirvonen’s Ford Focus cost the Finn four seconds at the start of SS20, and helped Sebastien Loeb to extend his lead once again.
“I think something was wrong with the handbrake,” said a frustrated Hirvonen. “Something similar happened in Turkey. We just sat there and lost time before we could get the engine going and start driving.”
Loeb meanwhile said he was still pushing his Citroen C4 at 100 per cent. “I tried to give everything I could, and in the splits compared to Mikko it’s okay,” he said.
In the battle for third, Chris Atkinson slashed the gap to Dani Sordo from 16.8sec to 6.1sec. “Atkinson is pushing a lot but I didn’t drive very well in there," said Sordo. "I had no confidence in my pace notes in the fast sections.”
“It didn’t actually feel so good,” said Atkinson. “It was very slippery and loose and we got away with a few things. Dani’s fast, so it’s not going to be easy to get past him, but it doesn’t matter if we’re behind him tomorrow - we’ll just keep trying.”