Bad luck for Atko as Loeb takes lead
- 24th September 2006, 9:52am
In a day of mixed fortunes for many, Sebastien Loeb has finished on top to win Leg 2 of Rally Cyprus. Leg 1 leader Marcus Gronholm suffered overheating brakes and then a spin, which cost him his lead, however he remains in touch, just 21.8 seconds behind Loeb going into the final day. Despite a misfiring engine in his Focus, Gronholm's team-mate Mikko Hirvonen remains in third, followed by Manfred Stohl (Peugeot), and the Citroen pair of Toni Gardemeister and Xavier Pons.
Australian Chris Atkinson was holding down 5th place and consistently recording top five stage times until he stalled under braking and ran wide into a ditch on SS15. The impact damaged his right rear wheel, and with no spectators in the area to help push the car back on the road, he and co-driver Glenn Macneall were forced to retire. After their 5th place in Leg 1, they still hold down 11th overall.
Atkinson's Subaru team-mate Petter Solberg had better luck, recovering from gearbox problems yesterday to work his way up to 7th. He was helped along the way by the misfortune of others, including his brother, whose Peugeot's engine was leaking so badly, the water flooded the cockpit, causing Henning Solberg to drive with wet boots, gloves and driving suit!
Citroen's Dani Sordo, who retired on Leg 1, rolled on SS10, but luckily for him the car landed on it's wheels and he was able to continue.
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