The Bauxites and Drossohori stages turned out very well for the Citroën Total World Rally Team drivers. Sébastien Loeb increased his lead slightly to just over ten seconds, whilst Mikko Hirvonen retook third place.
Continuing an intense and fast-paced day of racing, the crews headed for the Greek mountains as soon as they left the Itea remote service park. First of all, Mikko Hirvonen upped the ante when he took his first stage win in a DS3 WRC on SS5. On the next stage, Citroën scored a one-two thanks to Sébastien Loeb and Thierry Neuville. Mikko set the fourth fastest time to snatch third place back from Petter Solberg.
“I felt much better on these two stages,” confirmed the Finn. “I didn’t make any mistakes and I’m glad to have turned my good form into a stage win. I thought I’d done a little better on SS6, which means I should have driven differently on this very muddy stage. It’s good to be close to the Fiestas – the fight goes on!”
In stretching his advantage over Jari-Matti Latvala to 10.1s, Sébastien Loeb began to take some control over the race: “It’s not much, but it’s unusual for there to be big gaps when everyone is driving at very high speeds. It’s true, there was a lot of mud on SS6, but we chose the right option in keeping the hard tyres.”
After a second stop at the Itea service park, the Acropolis Rally competitors will then complete three more stages before reaching Loutraki from around 9.05pm…