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French driver Sébastien Loeb claims unprecedented 7th WRC title

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-03

Sébastien Loeb claimed his 7th consecutive World Rally Championship title on Sunday, winning on his home round in Alsace. The win sets a new world record by the Frenchman.

AP - Sébastian Loeb clinched a record seventh straight world championship title after winning the Rally of France on Sunday.

 
The Citroen driver has an insurmountable lead in the overall standings with two rallies remaining.
 
“This is the best thing that ever happened to me in my sporting life,” Loeb said after sealing his win on a stage in his Haguenau hometown. “I could never have imagined racing here and winning.”
 
The Rally of France was held on the island of Corsica for 35 years before moving to the Alsace region in north-eastern France this year.
 
“It’s unbelievable to become world champion at home, in front of all those people,” said Loeb, who claimed a record career 60th rally win and now has three more world titles than Finnish drivers Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen.
 
On treacherous and muddy roads, Loeb dominated from the start and finished 35.7 seconds ahead of his Citroen teammate Dani Sordo.
 
Loeb’s hopes of winning the title were boosted on Saturday after Sébastien Ogier, his closest rival in the standings at that time, broke his suspension and lost 10 minutes.
 
Sunday’s penultimate special stage was canceled for safety reasons after fans packed along the roadside.
 
“This is fantastic,” Loeb said. “I didn’t expect so many people to be here.”
 
Citroen also has an insurmountable lead in the manufacturers’ championship and won the title for a sixth consecutive year.
 
“Sébastien was in imperious form and won the title for the seventh straight time, and we won it six times in a row, this is crazy,” said Citroen Sport boss Olivier Quesnel.
 
Petter Solberg of Norway finished third in his private Citroen, 1:16.8 back while Ford drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen were fourth and fifth respectively.
 
“This third place is good for the championship and I think I will be dangerous in Spain,” Solberg said.
 
The Rally of Spain will be held from Oct. 22-24 before the last race of the season next month in Wales.
 
 

Date created : 2010-10-03

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