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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 February 2007, 16:11 GMT
Hirvonen stretches lead in Norway
Finland's Mikko Hirvonen in action in Norway
Hirvonen increased his lead on day two
Finn Mikko Hirvonen extended his lead on day two of the Rally of Norway as Sebastien Loeb crashed twice.

World Champion Loeb was third in the overall standings when he ploughed into a snow bank on stage 12.

He dropped nearly nine minutes behind Hirvonen, who holds a 21-second lead from Ford team-mate Marcus Gronholm.

A second crash on stage 13 further hit Loeb's chances with the Frenchman losing nine minutes and falling to 16th overall, 18 minutes behind the leader.

Loeb had gone into the rally holding a two-point lead over Gronholm in the overall standings after both had won one event so far this season.

He admitted: "I went straight at a junction and went in a snow bank.

"I lost eight minutes and on the next stage, we were two minutes off eighth place so I tried hard with nothing to lose and we lost it again."

Hirvonen retained the lead by the end of the day's action by just over 19 seconds from Gronholm.

Loeb was lying 16th, 10 minutes behind eighth-placed Xavier Pons in the final points scoring position.

British driver Matthew Wilson recovered from breaking the suspension on his Stobart Ford on the opening day to finish the second leg in 20th place overall.

Loeb's Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo also came off the road on the ninth stage to fall out of contention.

Rally of Norway results after day two:

1 Mikko Hirvonen (Fin) Ford 2hrs33mins 45.200secs
2 Marcus Gronholm (Fin) Ford 2:34:05.500
3 Petter Solberg (Nor) Subaru 2:37:33.500
4 Henning Solberg (Nor) Ford 2:37:43.400
5 Jari-Matti Latvala (Fin) Ford 2:37:32.100
6 Manfred Stohl (Aut) Citroen 2:39:56.300
7 Gian-Luigi Galli (Ita) Citroen 2:40:06.900
8 Xavier Pons (Spa) Mitsubishi 2:41:47.000
9 Daniel Carlsson (Swe) Citroen 2:42:08.500
10 Jan Kopecky (Cze) Skoda 2:43:28.300

Hirvonen takes early Norway lead
16 Feb 07 |  Rallying
Gronholm takes victory in Sweden
11 Feb 07 |  Rallying
Ireland to host World Rally round
05 Jul 06 |  Rallying


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