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Still Loeb, with three to go

7 October 2012


Sebastien Loeb has closed further on victory and his ninth WRC drivers' title this morning in France and with just three stages left he has a 25.3 second advantage over Jari-Matti Latvala.

Loeb began the final day with a 29.7 second advantage and while rain has made conditions tricky, he successfully negotiated SS17, SS18 and SS19, losing little time as Latvala also opted to take it pretty cautiously.

Mikko Hirvonen is next up and still on course for the final spot on the podium in the other works Citroen, with Thierry Neuville now fourth, after setting the pace the first three stages of the day.

Mads Ostberg trails the Belgian, with Dani Sordo sixth having lost significant time with power steering problems in SS19.

M-Sport Ford duo Ott Tanak and Evgeny Novikov remain seventh and eighth, although the latter had a big moment in SS18 and lost almost three minutes after going off the road. Chris Atkinson and Martin Prokop complete the top ten.

In the SWRC, Hayden Paddon continues to lead, more than a minute up on Craig Breen, who is just ahead of Yazeed Al-Rajhi.

The event now concludes with a repeat-run through this morning's first three stages, beginning with SS20, which on this event acts as the Power Stage.


Rallye de France-Alsace: Overall standings after Stage 19 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 3hours 13mins 52.7secs M
2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +00mins 25.3secs M
3. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 48.2secs M
4. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior WRT DS3 WRC +01mins 22.2secs M
5. Mads Ostberg Adapta WRT Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 27.0secs M
6. Dani Sordo Prodrive MINI John Cooper Works WRC +02mins 15.4secs
7. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 37.3secs M
8. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +05mins 43.2secs M
9. Chris Atkinson WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +06mins 31.5secs
10. Martin Prokop Czech Ford National Team Fiesta RS WRC +08mins 30.2secs

Others

11. Sebastien Chardonnet FFSA Citroen WRT DS3 WRC +08mins 35.0secs
12. Sebastien Ogier VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +08mins 52.6secs
13. Andreas Mikkelsen VW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000 +11mins 03.2secs
14. Julien Maurin Ford Fiesta WRC +12mins 38.7secs
15. Yvan Muller MINI John Cooper Works WRC +13mins 14.2secs
16. Hayden Paddon Skoda Fabia S2000 +14mins 34.9secs S
17. Romain Dumas MINI John Cooper Works WRC +15mins 07.6secs
18. Hermann Gassner Skoda Fabia S2000 +15mins 32.4secs
19. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta S2000 +16mins 32.2secs S
20. Yazeed Al-Rajhi Ford Fiesta S2000 +16mins 37.9secs S
23. Paolo Nobre WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +23mins 43.6secs


SWRC standings after Stage 19 (Top 3):

1. Hayden Paddon Skoda Fabia S2000 3hours 28mins 27.6secs S
2. Craig Breen Ford Fiesta S2000 +01mins 57.3secs S
3. Yazeed Al-Rajhi Ford Fiesta S2000 +02mins 03.0secs S


WRC Academy standings after Stage 16 (Top 3)#:

1. Elfyn Evans Ford Fiesta R2 3hours 20mins 42.6secs A
2. Jose Suarez Ford Fiesta R2 +00mins 42.5secs A
3. John MacCrone Ford Fiesta R2 +01mins 35.4secs A

# WRC Academy event ended after SS16


Notable retirements:

SS9. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC Went off the road M*
SS10. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC Accident M

SS18. Daniel Oliveira Brazil WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Mechanical M

* denotes re-started under Rally 2


all times unofficial


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