Dramatic twist in the Leadership - Seb.Loeb is no.1 @ Philips LED Rally Argentina - 2013

Starting the day, Seb.Ogier was in a healthy distance of over 17s and also won the opening stage of the day - SS6 Santa Rosa - Villa del Dique 1 [40.69km].

However, he lost his lead after going off, straight off a corner and lost over 40s. This elevated the senior - Seb.Loeb to the top position and also his team-mate Mikko Hirvonen to second overall by the end of SS7 - Amboy - Yacanto 1 [39.16km].

Frustrated Ogier explained, “We went straight on at a long corner,” as told to WRC Live. “The road tightened but we understeered on to mud and had to reverse out. The handbrake didn’t work again to save me.” A broken windscreen was the cost he paid, with other minor cosmetic damages.

Loeb was second-quickest in SS7 and confessed to have had a lucky escape for mistake himself. “I went wide like I did on the earlier stage but this time it cost me only about one second,” he said. “It’s tricky, eh? Very fast, the grip is good then suddenly it’s gone, watersplashes after the crests - it’s difficult.” 

After the mid-day service, and lunch break the cars resumed to repeat the morning loop of stages once again. Winning the SS8 was a good motivation that Loeb experienced, and Ogier finished quickly although with a front left puncture towards the stage end, down by 3.4s. Mikko loses his second place, puncture he told.

Andreas Mikkelsen retired from the day's action after he crashed onto a bridge, that resulted with too much damage to his VW Polo R WRC.

SS9 was the most dramatic stage of the day, maybe even of the entire rally. Almost everybody in the top 5 had issues, and it was Loeb who came clean and fastest. He extended his lead to a little over 40s to regroup in for the second and last SSS10.

Mikko, Latvala had stopped in stage, later the Finns managed to finished the stage. Qatar M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC boys were playing tactics with the roughest stage of the day and Novikov climbed to third after Mikko slipped to 6th.

Top 10 results - Overall after SS9

1.1S. LOEB3:27:
2.8S. OGIER3:28:05.3+40.3+40.3
3.5E. NOVIKOV3:30:04.5+1:59.2+2:39.5
4.7J. LATVALA3:30:18.0+13.5+2:53.0
5.11T. NEUVILLE3:30:56.1+38.1+3:31.1
6.2M. HIRVONEN3:34:06.9+3:10.8+6:41.9
7.4M. OSTBERG3:38:05.1+3:58.2+10:40.1
8.21M. PROKOP3:39:24.2+1:19.1+11:59.2
9.10D. SORDO3:40:26.1+1:01.9+13:01.1
10.23G. POZZO3:41:55.2+1:29.1+14:30.2

With one super special stage pending to end the day tonight, 3 stages and a power stage is all left for tomorrow's Ultimate Stand-off for the Super Sebs'. Till tomorrow, ciao!
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