Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

The Best of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2018: and the Palme d’or goes to....

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2018: Lebanese film 'Capharnaum' wows critics

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo: vaccinations to start on Sunday

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The Royal wedding: Pomp & controversy

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2018: John Travolta brings the mob to the red carpet

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Summit or No Summit: North Korea angry over military drill

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Could thawing permafrost unleash long-gone deadly viruses?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French and noble in 2018: What remains of France's aristocracy?

Read more

Loeb claims victory and gives Citroen manufacturers' title

Latest update : 2008-12-07

French five-times world champion Sebastien Loeb snatched victory in the final stage of the Wales Rally GB, overcoming a late penalty to win by 2.7 seconds.His victory also secured the manufacturers' title for Citroen.

Reuters - Five times world champion Sebastien Loeb won the season-ending Wales Rally GB on Sunday to hand Citroen the manufacturers' title and become the first driver to triumph 11 times in a single year.

 

The Frenchman went ahead of Ford's overnight leader Jari-Matti Latvala on the final Port Talbot stage in South Wales to beat the Finn by 2.7 seconds for his first victory in the classic British event.

 

"This one was incredible," said Loeb, who had already clinched his fifth successive title in Japan last month, after chalking up his 48th career win.

 

"The ice made conditions really tricky. With no gravel crews I didn't like it and I've not been happy all weekend. But today we had a good, good fight and it was exciting to fight with Jari-Matti," he told the official wrc.com website.

 

Loeb roared through the penultimate Rheola stage and would have seized the lead there had he not collected a 10 second penalty for starting too early, leaving him still 2.2 seconds adrift of the Finn with 20km remaining.

 

Throwing caution caution, Loeb was 4.9 seconds quicker than Latvala on the final run to end Ford's hopes of a third manufacturers' title in a row.

 

"Finally we won and it's a very good feeling," said the Frenchman, who ended the year with 122 points from a maximum 150 available.

 

Ford's Mikko Hirvonen, winner in Britain last year, finished overall runner-up with 103 points after crossing the line eighth on Sunday.

 

Loeb's Spanish team mate Dani Sordo was third in Wales, one minute and seven seconds behind Latvala who was gracious in defeat.

 

"The better man won today," said the Ford driver. "I tried to go as fast as I could. I couldn't do any better."

 

Norway's former world champion Petter Solberg was fourth for Subaru with Suzuki's Swede Per-Gunnar Andersson matching his team's best result in fifth place.

 

Italy's MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi made it to the finish in 12th place in a Ford Focus, more than 13 minutes slower than Loeb.

 

Citroen ended the season with 191 points to Ford's 173 with Subaru third on 98.

 

Date created : 2008-12-07

COMMENT(S)