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2011-11-13 06:12

HOW HIGH? Dennis Kuipers of the Netherlands and co-driver Frederic Miclotte of Belgium get serious lift-off in their Ford Fiesta RS WRC during the 2011 WRC Rally of Wales. Image: AFP

CARDIFF, Wales - Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala put a dampener on Sebastien Loeb's title celebrations when he overhauled the Frenchman to lead the Rally of Britain after Saturday's second leg.

Loeb, who clinched a record eighth successive World Rally championship on Friday, started the day's action 1.1sec ahead of Latvala but was powerless to halt the Ford driver's progress.


The Finn went fastest on the three closing stages to finish 6.1sec ahead of Loeb heading into Sunday's final leg.

"It's going really well and tomorrow morning I need to wake up with a very clean head," Latvala said on the World Rally championship website. “I’ve a good confidence and I'm so hungry for the victory."

Citroen's Loeb, who came into the season-ending rally eight points clear of Mikko Hirvonen at the top of the standings, extended his record run of championships when his title rival was forced to pull out on Friday after damaging his car.

"I cannot do anything," Loeb said. "Maybe (Latvala's) much better than me ... I did the perfect stage. If you watch on the video you can find no mistake anywhere. We have to continue - anything is possible."

Norway's Mads Ostberg is third, 2min43.9 behind the leader despite being hampered by an engine glitch.

Rally of Britain second leg results on Saturday
1 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Ford 2hr38min37.9
2 Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen +0min06.1
3 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Ford +2min43.9
4 Henning Solberg (Norway) Ford +5min35.0
5 Kris Meeke (Britain) Mini +6min20.0
6 Matthew Wilson (Britain) Ford +7min05.6
7 Dennis Kuipers (Netherlands) Ford +7min57.4
8 Ott Taenak (Estonia) Ford +8min02.3
9 Evgeny Novikov (Russia) Ford +8min22.3
10 Ken Block (US) Ford +13min24.


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