As expected, second run through Otates monster 41.88 kilometer stage drained the crews and cars further, really putting their concentration and stamina to the test. Among the top seeded drivers everyone made it to the end safely, except Chris Atkinson, who crashed his Fiesta RS WRC immediately after setting time. Information currently available say he is not continuing today and his off was caused by fading brakes.
Jari-Matti Latvala did little to confirm his own intention to take it easy and bring it safely to the finish. Ford’s driver was fastest on SS 16 and more importantly was able to get ahead of Petter Solberg in overall standings.
“Good drive, no mistakes, a lot of big stones towards the end so I took it a bit slower to be safe, but overall very good”, said Loeb.
“It was Ok, no panic really. A little bit careful to be sure not to make any mistakes, no problem. It was a bit slippy in the end, but we took it steady”, said Hirvonen.
“Higher temperatures made our work harder this time around. Tires and brakes need special attention and engine temperature also was rising few times, but we made it through. Now we should focus on reaching the finish and taking the points,” said Latvala.
photo: Julian Porter aka The Guru