Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb says his countryman and Rally Sweden rival Sebastien Ogier is impossible to catch.
Volkswagen driver Ogier has enjoyed the perfect day from the perfect position on the road to establish a 31.4-second lead over his former team-mate and Citroen star Loeb. Ogier has been fastest in all-but one of today's forest stages run around the town of Hagfors. Loeb's fellow DS3 WRC driver Mikko Hirvonen was quickest in the dash around the Karlstad superspecial this evening.
Talking about his chances of catching Ogier for the rest of the event, Loeb said: "It's impossible to catch him now. It's going to be difficult enough to stay ahead of Jari-Matti [Latvala]."
Latvala, driving the sister Polo R WRC is just 1.7 seconds adrift of Loeb in third place.
"Their car [the Polo] seems really good," added Loeb. "Where we have some understeer, they seem to have the car balanced ' which is really important on this rally."
Volkswagen Motorsport team principal Jost Capito said: "It's too early to talk about a result, but it is very nice to be leading the event and in third place tonight. What we have to remember, though, is that Sebastien [Ogier] was in the good place on the road and tomorrow, Loeb will be much closer."
Loeb will run directly in front of Ogier in tomorrow's stages, which run to the east of Hagfors.