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2012-08-04 08:24

DOING IT FOR THE KIDS: World Rally ace Sebastien Loeb takes time out to sign autographs for youngsters during the 2012 WRC Rally of Sweden. Image: AFP

French veteran Sebastien Loeb has maintained his lead in his Citroen DS3 over Finnish drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala after dominating day two of the 2012 Rally of Finland.

Eight-times world champion Loeb, who won in Finland in 2011, maintained a five-second advantage over Citroen's Hirvonen, with Latvala sitting third for Ford, 15.3sec behind.


"Fifteen seconds isn't a lot, but in Finland it's difficult to make up ground,'' said Loeb, who expressed his delight at his duel with the Finnish pair.

Championship leader Loeb and Hirvonen each won four stages but Latvala said he feared the 38-year-old French driver could not be caught.

"To get closer (to Loeb) feels very difficult and I don't know where to take that time. Citroen is very strong," Latvala said.

Norway's Petter Solberg, the 2003 World champion, moved up to fourth from sixth overnight but lost time and is 21.4sec off the pace. Compatriot and stablemate Mads Ostberg dropped to fifth at 47.7sec.

Classification from the Rallying Finland on Friday
1 Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen 1hr20min30.4
2 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Ford +00min05.0
3 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Ford + 00min20.3
4 Petter Solberg (Norway) Ford +00min21.4
5 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Ford +00min47.7
6 Ott Taenak (Estonia) Ford +01min36.4
7 Jari Ketomaa (Finland) Ford +02min28.3
8 Matti Rantanen (Finland) Ford +02min47.4
9 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Ford +03min18.4
10 Ken Block (U.S.) Ford +04min47.0

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