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Loeb wins fifth title.

Citroen team leader Sebastien Loeb survived the atrocious conditions on day three of the Pioneer Rally Japan to take the final spot on the podium and clinch his fifth drivers' crown.

Loeb, who went into the 14th and penultimate round in the World Rally Championship having won the last five events in succession, elected not to try and push for the win in Sapporo, but rather do enough to ensure the battle with title rival Mikko Hirvonen didn't go to the finale in Wales.

His tactics paid off too and while he did have a scare in the penultimate stage, when he spun 200 metres from the end of the 27.76 kilometre-run through Sikot 2, he was still sixth quickest and eventually took third - and those vital six points - with ease, more than a minute up on Chris Atkinson in fourth.

Loeb now becomes the only driver in the 30-odd year history of the sport to have won the WRC crown five times - one more than Tommi Makinen and Juha Kankkunen, who both took it on four occasions.

"It's incredible [to win the title again]," said Seb. "It could'nt have been trickier today, but now is a great moment. There is no pressure. It's a big relief for me and also a big satisfaction to be a five-time world champion with Daniel [Elena - my co-driver]. We are very happy."

More to follow later...


Related Pictures

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Sebastian Loeb (F) Daniel Elena (MC) Citroen C4 WRC
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MT Motorsport - Unregistered

November 02, 2008 9:00 AM

Congratulations Seb. This is a true champion. Outstanding driver, fantastic to watch, a real motorsport legend and a nice guy to go with it. This should really be his sixth title as he surrendered his own title chances in 2003 to help Citroen win the manufacturers title. Not many at the pinnacle of any sport would do that. Well done to Mikko, Dani and Jari this season. Here''s looking forward to 2009, should be a cracker with all these guys getting quicker along with Chris Atkinson. Subaru need to get Meeke or Wilks into that car to have any hope of getting close to Ford and Citroen.

Gareth Davies

November 03, 2008 4:29 PM

I do think its quite sad in a way, not taking anything away from Lewis (by all means well done!) but, he is getting all this praise for winning 1 world championship, this guy has won 5, its is 6th full season in the WRC and in 2003 he was unlucky when he was just pipped! and ive also read on here before that the current WRC field is weak, I dont believe in that, you beat who you up against and he has done just that.



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