Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen Set for Sunday showdown: WRC Rally Day 2

Tony CastaneiraAnalyst IFebruary 14, 2009

Two days of intense competition down with one to go. Rally Norway leaders Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen will enter Sunday—the final day—divided by exactly 15 seconds.

Saturday’s final stage, the 1.5km sprint through Hamar town centre, brought no changes to the top 10 positions, with Loeb taking the stage win, followed by Henning Solberg and Dani Sordo. Mikko Hirvonen set the fourth fastest time.

While most eyes will be watching the battle for the overall victory, a number of other tight battles within the top 10 will be decided on Sunday. With 126 competitive kilometers, it is the longest day of the rally.

In third place, BP Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala took two consecutive stage wins and narrowed the gap to Hirvonen to 28.2 seconds. Latvala, however, thought the difference was still too big to challenge for the win tomorrow.

“Now it’s going well, but unfortunately we found the right setup a little bit too late,” said Latvala.

“The softer springs are giving me much more traction—especially in the braking points. OK, it’s not over yet, but it would be very difficult to catch those two guys ahead. At least I can be delighted now. And that’s good.”

Dani Sordo will start the day just 12.0 seconds behind fourth placed Henning Solberg, while his Stobart Ford teammate Matthew Wilson is only 2.3 seconds behind Petter Solberg in fifth place.