Citroën’s Sebastien Loeb grabbed the early lead of the Catalunya Rally on Friday by blitzing the second and third stages of the WRC event.

Citroën’s Sebastien Loeb grabbed the early lead of the Catalunya Rally on Friday by blitzing the second and third stages of the WRC event.

Tour de Corse winner, Subaru’s Petter Solberg, started the rally on a high with his first stage win at Catalunya, showing the younger drivers a thing or two on La Trona’s flowing, but slippery, stage.

But favourite Sebastien Loeb moved into the lead of the Rally Catalunya with a comprehensive win on the fast SS2, and then made it two in a row with a win on SS3, the 22,55-km Le Pobla de Lillet 1.

Loeb’s team-mate Carlos Sainz was again best of the rest and moved up to second place overall at the expense of Markko Martin.

Martin was only sixth on this one, and really struggling with neck problems following his big crash at the end of the Corsica rally required that both he and co-driver, Michael “Beef” Park, receive physiotherapy. “The tarmac g-forces are proving to be a bit too much,” admitted co-driver Beef Park. The crew is down to fourth place overall.

Subaru’s Petter Solberg was third best on the new stage, which has some fast stretches, some tight twisty stuff and some big crests.

Peugeot's Richard Burns set the fourth best time on SS3, but thanks to Solberg’s pace, the Englishman has actually dropped one place to sixth overall.

Fifth place on the stage also means fifth place overall for Citroën’s Colin McRae, showing that McRae’s statements against Burns reported on CARtoday.com this week may just hold some water!

The Scot was 14,8 sec down on Loeb on the stage and is 25,2 sec away in the overall picture.

Original article from Car