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RALLYING - ARGENTINA

Loeb makes it four of a kind

2 min

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb climbed ahead of Ford's Mikko Hirvonen in the overall standings, after the four-time world champion won the Rally of Argentina for the fourth consecutive time.

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World champion Sebastien Loeb won his fourth successive Rally of Argentina on Sunday to take over at the top of the overall standings in the 2008 title race.

The French Citroen driver, who also won the previous round in Mexico, finished 2min 33sec ahead of Australia's Chris Atkinson, in a Subaru Impreza, with Spain's Dani Sordo, in another Citroen, taking third place, 4min 4sec off the lead.

It was Loeb's 39th career victory in the world championship, another record for a man who has won the last four world titles.

He took over the lead of the championship from Ford Focus driver Mikko Hirvonen who was fifth here after never recovering from mechanical problems on the opening day.

The 2003 world champion Petter Solberg, who had been in second place overnight, saw his hopes of a podium finish dashed halfway though Sunday’s opening stage when electrical failure brought his Subaru Impreza to a halt.

Solberg had started the final day 48sec ahead of Subaru teammate Atkinson.

Solberg and Atkinson had been on course to record Subaru’s first double podium since the Rally of Great Britain in 2003.

Atkinson said that while he was happy to be up to second overall, his team-mate’s retirement was a blow for the Subaru camp.

"Personally speaking, a possible three podiums from four rallies feels great, but of course we were hoping for a double celebration at Subaru," said the Australian.

"Petter’s retirement is a big disappointment for the whole team."  
  

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