Loeb on course for third Finnish win

Sebastien Loeb and Finnish hero Mikko Hirvonen have been evenly matched for much of day two of the FIA World Rally Championship qualifier with Hirvonen taking three stage victories and Loeb managing a brace in their identical works DS3 WRCs. The only cause for concern for the French make was a rear differential glitch Loeb reported at the end of stage eight.

Jari-Matti Latvala is the leading the chase. The Ford driver in third place, one position ahead of team-mate Petter Solberg. Latvala struggled for confidence this morning but his second-best time on stage eight signalled an upturn in form following various set-up changes to the Fiesta.

In the chase for WRC Academy honours, Welshman Elfyn Evans is more than one minute in front of Pontus Tidemand. Title leader Alastair Fisher was second when a throttle issue put him out. He hopes to return under Rally 2 rules on Saturday.

3rd August, 2012