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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Latvala closes in on GB rally win

Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala opened up a 7.3 second lead over world champion Sebastien Loeb on Saturday to close in on victory in the Wales Rally GB.

Latvala defied icy weather to keep his lead, which he gained on Friday in his Ford Focus.

However, the precarious conditions may make life difficult for him on Sunday when he will be first on the course.

Loeb's Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo is in third, while Subaru's Petter Solberg is in fourth.

Latvala lost control while braking on ice and hit a roadside barrier on the fifth stage on Saturday, but his car bounced back onto the road and he continued.

Loeb, who already has the drivers' championship sewn up, thinks Latvala will take some beating in the final rally of the 2008 season.

"It's not the perfect place - I'm too far behind I think," said France's five-time world champion.

"Jari was really fast. I had a good drive but maybe I was a bit too cautious on the ice."

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