Sebastien Loeb looks set to be defeated for the first time in the 2009 World Rally Championship after losing a minute with a tire puncture on SS11 in Sardinia. The World Champion was charging to try and catch up with the rally-leading Fords when he sustained the puncture two miles into Fiorentini 2.
After initially trying to push on with the tire damage, Loeb and his co-driver Daniel Elena stopped and were able to change the wheel in just one minute. The Frenchman then made up some of the lost time in the remainder of the stage, but the incident has left him 1m33.1s adrift of leader Jari-Matti Latvala and back in fourth place behind Petter Solberg.
Fiorentini then turned into an even worse stage for Citroen as Dani Sordo suffered a severe loss of power and lost four minutes, dropping from fifth to eighth.
The same test also saw Henning Solberg forced to retire his Stobart Ford from eighth place with broken suspension.