Loeb, who will call time on his career as a full-time driver in the FIA World Rally Championship later today, has adopted a degree of caution this morning with light rain and damp conditions affecting the stages.
“For sure winning this rally would be better than losing and for sure I would like to win but I will be back for some rallies next year so it is not like I stop now,” said the factory Citroen driver. “My feeling is good but it’s important not to make a mistake. I am not relaxed but I think my gap is enough to keep the position.”
Jari-Matti Latvala, meanwhile, remains on course to snatch third place from Mads Ostberg in the final drivers’ standings. Latvala is second overall for the works Ford squad but still needs to score points on the Power Stage this afternoon assuming Ostberg continues to hold fourth place behind Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen.
Ostberg started the day in fifth place but moved ahead of Ott Tanak when the young Estonian spun into a barrier on stage 14 and lost time, slipping to fifth in the process.
While Loeb has driven slightly conservatively, Dani Sordo has thrown caution to the wind by claiming three stage bests in his Prodrive-run MINI John Cooper Works WRC. The Spaniard is out of contention for a points finish after picking up a handful of lateness penalties while his mechanics rushed to replace a faulty fuel injector in midday service on Saturday. He has vowed to win as many stages as possible.
Behind Tanak, Jarkko Nikara has moved into sixth place in the second Prodrive MINI after Hans Weijs stopped with suspected suspension damage on stage 15.
Craig Breen continues to lead the Super 2000 World Rally Championship with Benito Guerra on top in the Production Car World Rally Championship.
Three stages remain on the WRC season finale. The finish is scheduled for 15:02hrs in Salou.