Sebastien Loeb will lead a top three covered by just 2.6sec at the start of the final day of Rally Finland.
As expected, the leaders tried to take tactical approaches to the last Friday stage to get better road positions for the decisive leg. Loeb chose to check in late at the start of the Mynnila stage and run with a 10sec penalty, before going on to set the fastest time on the stage itself. His Citroen teammate Sebastien Ogier – who had moved into the lead this afternoon – slowed down on the stage sufficiently to slot in 1.5sec behind Loeb in the overall results.
Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala did not back off so much, allowing him to make up some of the deficit he had to the Citroens, and to end up still third but within 2.6sec of Loeb. Tomorrow's decisive leg features nine stages to settle the absorbing three-way battle.
Independent Citroen driver Petter Solberg remains a lonely fourth, half a minute behind the leaders and half a minute ahead of Stobart Ford's Mads Ostberg.
Mikko Hirvonen's recovery charge has now brought him up to sixth place for Ford, ahead of the two Minis.
Leading positions after SS11:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 1h29m01.3s
2. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 1.5s
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 2.6s
4. Petter Solberg Solberg Citroen + 29.2s
5. Mads Ostberg Stobart Ford + 1m00.1s
6. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 1m28.7s
7. Dani Sordo Mini + 1m36.2s
8. Kris Meeke Mini + 1m51.0s
9. Juho Hanninen Red Bull Skoda + 2m04.0s
10. Henning Solberg Stobart Ford + 2m06.1s