02 Aug 08
Sebastien Loeb added another three seconds to his rally lead on SS16, beating Mikko Hirvonen thanks to some driving he described as ‘a bit crazy sometimes.’
But while the two leaders continued to fight tooth and nail, there were dramatic developments further down the order, when the same short stretch of the Kakaristo stage led to three high level retirements in the WRC and P-WRC contests.
First to go was third placed Gigi Galli, who misjudged his speed after a crest 14.3km from the start and rolled his Focus RS off the road and into a ditch. The Stobart VK M-Sport driver and his co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini were uninjured but were unable to get their car back on the road.
Next to go was P-G Andersson of the Suzuki World Rally Team. The Swede left the road at about the same place as Galli, and ploughed into a ditch. While trying to steer the car back onto the road Andersson’s SX4 WRC hit a tree, which finally brought it to a stop.
The final dramatic development affected Juho Salo, the Finn who was leading the P-WRC competition. Salo left the road at the same place as Andersson and Galli and rolled his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution into retirement.
The retirements shifted most of the WRC top 10 up at least one place, meaning Dani Sordo was up to third overall, while Juho Hanninen moves into the lead of the P-WRC contest.