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Loeb crash gives Sordo lead in Jordan

Latest update : 2008-04-26

Sebastien Loeb's Citroen C4 crashed on Saturday, making Spanish Daniel Sordo the leader of the Rally of Jordan. The four-time world champion may continue the race in search of additional points for his team.

Four-time world champion Sebastien Loeb has crashed out of the Rally of Jordan after an accident involving a similar Citroen C4 car on the road section after Saturday's SS11.
  
The French driver had taken the race lead on Saturday morning and was more than 34 seconds up on his teammate Daniel Sordo, after setting three successive quickest times in SS9, SS10 and SS11.
  
But his hopes were dashed when he was involved in a head-on crash with Zimbabwe driver Conrad Rautenbach's C4 car.
  
Loeb was setting off for SS12, while Rautenbach was heading into SS11, when the incident occurred on a blind corner. Although nobody was injured, both were unable to continue.
  
"It's was an unusual accident," explained Loeb. "The start and the finish of the special were in the same place, so it's the same road and the cars pass each other ... when they manage to pass each other. He (Rautenbach) was in a bit of a hurry and we saw each other at the last minute.”
   
"It's really stupid of us that's all I can say," admitted the driver.
  
Loeb may try to race on Sunday in a bid to score some points for his team in the constructors standings.
  
He added that he still didn’t “know if we're going to start on Sunday, it all depends on the benefits of competing, considering that the same engine has to be used again in Sardinia. If it has overheated it's not worth taking the risk."
  
Loeb was however encouraged by his ability to fight back after trailing Sordo by 1.1 seconds overnight.
  
"I decided to attack hard this morning and we managed to carve out a nice advantage which is encouraging for what is to come," he said.
  
"We'll have to chase after those lost points the next time but we're still in the first half of the championship so all is still to play for."
  
Citroen's hopes are now lying with Sordo who moves back into pole position after winning SS12, albeit with a slim 0.7 second margin on the Ford Focus of Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala.
  
Loeb arrived in Jordan with a five-point lead on Finn Mikko Hirvonen in the world championship standings.
  
Hirvonen is in third in his Ford Focus, 6.0 seconds behind Sordo.

Date created : 2008-04-26

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