Loeb races to 50th career win in Cyprus

France's title-holder Sebastien Loeb on Citroen (pictured) finished 27.2 seconds clear of Finland's Mikko Hirvonen to claim the Rally of Cyprus, his 50th career win in the world championship.


AFP - Reigning world champion Sebastien Loeb of France won the Rally of Cyprus here on Sunday, his 50th career race win in the world championships.

Loeb, driving a Citroen C4, finished 27.2 seconds clear of Finland's Mikko Hirvonen in a Ford Focus with Petter Solberg of Norway third in a Citroen Xsara.

The five-times world champion started the final special stage on the rally just 26 seconds in front of Hirvonen who had produced the top times in the first two specials of the day clawing back six seconds and then a further 17 seconds on the Frenchman's lead.

But that was as close as he got as Loeb used all his experience to hold on to first place making it three wins out of three rallies this year - Ireland, Norway and Cyprus.

It also meant a 50th career win for Loeb with his long-time co-driver Daniel Elena of Monaco starting with their win in the rally of Germany in 2002.

"I am overjoyed at what we have have achieved and have no intention of stopping there," he said. "Now it's on to win number 51."

Loeb leads the World Rally Championship drivers standings with the maximum 30 points from three races.

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