WRC: Sebastien Loeb extends his lead on day two of the Monte Carlo Rally
Sebastian Loeb stretched his lead over the chasing pack after winning two stages on the second day in Monte Carlo.
Last Updated: 18/01/13 5:03pm
The Frenchman, who will race a reduced programme of events this year, had begun the new World Rally Championship campaign in typically dominant fashion by taking an early lead on Wednesday.
And Loeb took his Citroen even further clear of nearest challenger and compatriot Sebastian Ogier on day two, opening up a 1 minute 35 second gap over the Volkswagen driver.
The drivers continued to face difficult conditions with snow and ice prevalent, but Loeb was more than satisfied with his performance.
"We kept the lead that we had this morning and that was the main goal for the day," he told the WRC's official website.
"The penultimate stage in St Bonnet was full of snow and offered really nice conditions. But the last test was a bit rough, with a lot of cuts and just one line through the ice."
Ogier remained calm about his chances of toppling reigning nine-time champion Loeb over the last two days.
He said: "There are still two days to go but we're happy with the car. We've had no problems at all so we'll cross our fingers and try to preserve second."
Ogier holds a lead of 1:03 over third-placed Dani Sordo (Citroen) while Evgeny Novikov (Ford) lies fourth in the standings at the midway stage of the rally, a further 15 seconds adrift.