Sebastien Loeb continues to dominate Rally Bulgaria, with Citroen now holding the top four places again after Ford lost time with a disastrous tire choice this morning.
Factory drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala, plus Stobart Ford's P-G Andersson, chose hard tires for the opening loop with Ford's weather information predicting dry conditions. But when they instead encountered damp and wet roads, the Focus drivers all lost over a minute to Loeb on SS5 alone.
That meant Sebastien Ogier (Citroen Junior) breezed back up to fourth ahead of the two works Fords, even easing his pace when he saw on the splits how much slower the two Finns were.
Conditions were slightly more favorable for Ford on stage six, but the time loss continued, putting fifth-placed Hirvonen 2m32s off the lead and 32.2s behind Ogier, with Latvala a further 8sec adrift. To make things even worse for Ford, SS7 – the only dry stage of the loop – was canceled due to spectators standing in dangerous places, after a delay of nearly an hour while attempts were made to resolve the problem.
SS6 saw Dani Sordo become the first man to beat his Citroen teammate Loeb to a stage win all weekend, and that pace helped the Spaniard pull 26.8sec clear of Petter Solberg (Solberg Citroen) in their battle for second place.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 1h32m21.2s
2. Dani Sordo Citroen + 30.0s
3. Petter Solberg Citroen + 56.8s
4. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 1m59.9s
5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 2m32.1s
6. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 2m40.2s
7. P-G Andersson Ford + 4m01.1s
8. Frigyes Turan Peugeot + 4m11.0s
9. Matthew Wilson Ford + 5m42.0s
10. Henning Solberg Ford + 7m41.2s