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Loeb grabs rally lead


Sebastien Loeb has hunted down and passed longtime Rally NZ leader Mikko Hirvonen.

Sebastien Loeb has just taken the lead in Rally New Zealand after slicing nine seconds off Mikko Hirvonen’s leading margin.

Loeb went into the stage 5.3 seconds behind Hirvonen after slicing 22 seconds off Hirvonen’s overnight lead.

Loeb now has a margin of more than three seconds going into the final stage at Te Akau North.

Meanwhile, Hirvonen's teammate is also closing in and may get ahead of the Ford team leader in the day's final stage.

That could mean Hirvonen would start third in tomorrow's crucial final leg and will have the advantage of a swept road.

His speed tpday has been hampered by running first on the road, sweeping the special stages of loose gravel.

More from Rally NZ this afternoon and evening.

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