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Last Updated: Friday, 9 February 2007, 17:41 GMT
Gronholm leads in Rally of Sweden
Marcus Gronholm
Gronholm is on course for a fifth Rally of Sweden title
Finland's Marcus Gronholm stayed on course for a fifth Rally of Sweden title after seizing the lead on the first full day.

The Finn took his Ford Focus into an 11.3 seconds lead over Citroen's triple world champion Sebastien Loeb.

Subaru's Petter Solberg was in third place, 22.6 seconds off the pace.

Gronholm took stages five, six and eight on Friday, with Loeb snatching stages four and seven.

Gronholm was generally happy with his driving in the snowy conditions: "Some stages were not so good, like stage seven when it was really slippery at the end, but some were good.

"I don't know if road position will help tomorrow, to be honest, but we will run 15th on the road - so we won't be clearing snow for anybody."

Frenchman Loeb, who won two stages despite an electrical problem with his car, was philosophical but upbeat after a testing day.

"I have tried hard all day. But in these conditions it was really difficult being first on the road - so to be this close to Marcus is good," said Loeb.

Loeb leads the world championship standings after winning last month's opening Monte Carlo Rally.

Standings after Special Stage 8
1 Marcus Gronholm (Fin) Ford 1 hour 5 minutes 21.300 seconds
2 Sebastien Loeb (Fra) Citroen 1:05:32.400
3 Petter Solberg (Nor) Subaru 1:05:43.900
4 Henning Solberg (Nor) Ford 1:05:49.200
5 Mikko Hirvonen (Fin) Ford 1:05:52.300
6 Toni Gardemeister (Fin) Mitsubishi 1:05:56.200
7 Daniel Carlsson (Swe) Citroen 1:06:04.400
8 Manfred Stohl (Aut) Citroen 1:06:26.300
9 Chris Atkinson (Aus) Subaru 1:06:30.100
10 Jari-Matti Latvala (Fin) Ford 1:07:01.900

Loeb falters on Swedish circuit
08 Feb 07 |  Rallying


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