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Fri Apr 25 04:37:44 SAST 2014

Loeb wins in Finland for the third time

Reuters | 05 August, 2012 12:430 Comments
FIA World Rally Championship Finland - Day 3
Sebastien Loeb of France and Daniel Elena of Monaco compete in their Citroen Total WRT Citroen DS3 WRC during Day 3 of the WRC Rally Finland on August 04, 2012 in Jyvaskyla , Finland
Image by: Massimo Bettiol / Getty Images

Citroen’s world champion Sebastien Loeb won Rally Finland for the third time in his record-breaking career on Saturday to stretch his overall lead in the standings to 43 points.

The Frenchman, chasing his ninth successive championship, finished ahead of local favourite and teammate Mikko Hirvonen with another Finn, Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala, in third place.

Loeb finished the final Ouninpohja 2 stage 6,1 seconds ahead of Hirvonen, who lost precious time in the morning when he hit a tree. Latvala was a further 28,9 adrift.

Norway’s Petter Solberg was fourth in a Ford.

The victory was Loeb’s sixth in eight races this season, 73rd of his career, and he led from start to finish. The Frenchman now has 171 points to Hirvonen’s 128 with five rounds remaining.

“It’s very satisfying to win in Finland,” said the Frenchman. “I didn’t come here especially to win, I came for points because it’s very difficult to beat the Finnish drivers.

“It was a great fight with Mikko, a one-two for Citroen and great for the championship.” 

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