Citroen's Sebastien Loeb
has won the Repco Rally Australia today to close back up on Mikko Hirvonen
in the battle for the 2009 WRC drivers' title.
Loeb, who purposely eased off in SS23 on Saturday, to ensure he had a better road position for the final leg, took the lead from the off this morning and then pulled away eventually taking the victory by 12.5 seconds.
The Frenchman will now head to the penultimate round in Spain at the start of next month just 1 point behind in the drivers' championship.
Hirvonen meanwhile made sure he took the runners-up spot by setting the pace in the final test. The BP Ford
Abu Dhabi #1 came under pressure from Dani Sordo today, but in the end the Finn finished 4.6 seconds ahead despite having to run first on the road and sweep away all the loose gravel.
Citroen Junior Team's Sebastien Ogier
was fourth, a minute further back, after starring on day 1, followed by early leader, Jari-Matti Latvala.
Stobart Ford's Matthew Wilson
completed the top six, albeit 3.5 minutes off P5, followed by his team-mate, Henning Solberg
and Munchi's Ford
man Federico Villagra. Hayden Paddon and P-WRC winner, Martin Prokop rounded out the top ten.
Conrad Rautenbach and Khalid Al Qassimi
both had to SupeRally, the latter coming home 19th after hitting a rock and damaging his steering in SS7 on Friday. Rautenbach, who crashed out on Saturday, completed the last stage in 17th. However he had to retire before the final service after damaging the radiator on his C4 in SS34.
Full report and result to follow...