Sebastien Loeb has admitted there is nothing he can do to stop his fellow Citroen driver Sebastien Ogier from winning the Rally of Portugal if the younger of the two Frenchmen continues at his current speed.
After starting the day 44.8 seconds behind Ogier, Loeb has been fastest through three of the five stages which have run today, and now lies 23.1sec behind going into the day's final test. Dani Sordo has dropped back from the lead battle and is now 51.8sec behind Ogier's C4 WRC.
Loeb said: "If we will continue like this, we can never touch him. He is very fast. I'm very impressed, he is doing better than me."
Ogier admitted his efforts had come at the cost of his rear tires. "They are destroyed now," he said.
The final stage of the day will decide the running order for tomorrow's third and final leg of the event.