Athens: Day two at the Acropolis Rally of Greece 2009 started off with an almighty battle as the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally team driver Mikko Hirvonen maintained his number one lead with only a 24 second margin over World Rally legend Petter Solberg.

Earlier in the day there was drama as Citroen driver Dani Sordo's car crashed on stage nine leaving him five minutes off the pace due to a broken suspension arm. Meanwhile Shaikh Khalid Al Qasimi jumped from 11th to ninth place after stages seven to nine.

During stage eight Shaikh Khalid said he was more comfortable. "I felt a little better than the first stage of the day, but it's still rough."

In spite of a left rear puncture, BP Ford Abu Dhabi team driver, Jari-Matti Latvala fought hard and reached fifth place with only a 15 seconds difference from Mads Ostberg in fourth.

"It happened, left rear puncture somewhere towards the end of stage 7, 500m before the stop. It is nothing much, no problem. We have spare wheels. Our time is good," said Latvala confidently.

The start of the rally on Saturday (stage seven) took place at 9:32 am in Klenia, Mycenae - a rocky, sandy, narrow 17.25 km roadway on the mountains with primitive and modest looking houses in the surroundings.

Experiencing 14 of the passer-by rally cars take off from the start was an exciting experience, especially after hearing the unexpected news regarding Citroen's World Champion Sebastian Loeb coming off the road and damaging his car only eight kilometres away from the start of stage seven, which evidently helped give the Abu Dhabi team to a greater advantage.

Loeb won't be starting day three, according to the Citroen World Rally team.