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STOP PRESS: Loeb wins in Spain

Sebastien Loeb wins in Spain and re-takes the outright lead in the battle for the 2011 WRC drivers' title ahead of the season finale in Wales next month.
Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has won the Rally de Espana today to secure his fifth win of the season.

Loeb went into the final leg with a 27.6 second advantage and he managed to extend that cushion slightly this morning to go into the final three stages with another 3.5 seconds in hand. The Frenchman could then take it relatively cautiously on the repeat runs and he eventually triumphed with ease.

Loeb now re-takes the outright lead in the drivers' championship and thanks to the extra point he got in the Power Stage, will go to Wales Rally GB next month for the season finale, 8 points up on Mikko Hirvonen. His win was also enough to give Citroen the manufacturers' title.

Hirvonen meanwhile had a difficult event and struggled on days one and two. It wasn't until the final leg that he finally seemed to find his feet. He still took second however, as Jari-Matti Latvala once again played the team game and prior to the final test the 26-year-old checked in early to pick up a 2 minute penalty.

Latvala had pushed Loeb hard on Saturday and would have been closer to the Frenchman had he not made a mistake on Friday in the night stage. The Finn got caught out by the hanging dust in SS6 – a issue on a number of the opening day's mainly gravel tests – and after a spin and a puncture slipped from first to second, losing more than 40 seconds in total. Still it was an impressive showing from him and in total he won six stages.

Local star Dani Sordo was next up and fourth for the MINI WRT. The Spaniard came under pressure today from Sebastien Ogier, until engine problems sidelined the young Frenchman in SS17. Ogier's retirement ends his championship hopes.

Kris Meeke took P5 in the other MINI WRT John Cooper Works WRC car, his best result to date in the WRC and he marked the accomplishment in style, by winning the Power Stage, 0.2 seconds up on Sordo.

Mads Ostberg rounded out the top six for the M-Sport Stobart Ford team, ahead of Evgeny Novikov, who got the better of Henning Solberg late on to secure seventh. Dennis Kuipers and Juho Hanninen took positions 9 and 10, the latter taking the SWRC class win and the SWRC title.

In addition to Ogier's late retirement, Matthew Wilson also stopped in the penultimate stage. He had been running tenth until he took off a wheel.

Petter Solberg and Kimi Raikkonen also retired, but both went out on Friday. Solberg ripped off a wheel in SS1, when he got caught out by hanging dust, while engine issues stopped Raikkonen in SS3.

To read the full report - CLICK HERE

To view the latest championship standings - CLICK HERE



Rally de Espana: Overall standings after Stage 18 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 4hours 05mins 39.3secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 06.9secs M
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 32.4secs M
4. Dani Sordo MINI WRT John Cooper Works +03mins 24.1secs
5. Kris Meeke MINI WRT John Cooper Works +05mins 15.0secs
6. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +05mins 54.2secs M
7. Evgeny Novikov Citroen DS3 WRC +09mins 31.8secs M
8. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 40.1secs
9. Dennis Kuipers FERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC +11mins 13.8secs M
10. Juho Hanninen Skoda Fabia S2000 +13mins 49.2secs S

Others:

11. Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta S2000 +14mins 04.1secs S
12. Khalid Al-Qassimi Team Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC +14mins 39.0secs M
13. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta S2000 +14mins 46.9secs S
16. Federico Villagra Munchi's Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +17mins 36.6secs M
17. Peter van Merksteijn Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC +18mins 45.7secs M
21. Patrik Flodin Subaru Impreza +24mins 01.4secs P
25. Daniel Oliviera Brazil WRT MINI John Cooper Works +38mins 50.0secs M


Rally de Espana: Power Stage / SS18 (Top 3):

1. Kris Meeke MINI WRT John Cooper Works 2mins 45.7secs
2. Dani Sordo MINI WRT John Cooper Works +00mins 00.2secs
3. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 04.9secs M

NOTE: Top three finishers in Power Stage are awarded bonus points. 1st = 3 points; 2nd = 2 points; 3rd = 1 point


SWRC standings after Stage 18 (Top 3):

1. Juho Hanninen Skoda Fabia S2000 4hours 19mins 28.5secs S
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta S2000 +00mins 14.9secs S
3. Martin Prokop Ford Fiesta S2000 +00mins 57.7secs S


PWRC standings after Stage 18 (Top 3):

1. Patrik Flodin Subaru Impreza 4hours 29mins 40.7secs P
2. Michal Kosciuszko Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +00mins 02.0secs P
3. Benito Guerra Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +09mins 45.5secs P


Notable retirements:

SS1. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC Broken wheel M
SS1. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Broken steering M*
SS3. Kimi Raikkonen ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC Engine M

SS13. Armindo Araujo Motorsport Italia MINI John Cooper Works Mechanical
SS13. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Stopped in stage M
SS17. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC Engine. M
SS17. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC Took a wheel off M


* denotes re-started under SupeRally

all times unofficial


Tagged as: Spain , Sébastien Loeb , Citroën

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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Ford fan - Unregistered

October 23, 2011 2:38 PM

Jari Mati Latvala showed this weekend how fast the Ford Fiesta WRC is on tarmac , to be able to record FASTET! times on tarmac roads from A no tarmac driver showed how he improved at this surface over the time and its clear that Citroen and Ford are evenly quieck. If Hirvonen wins the 2011 WRC drivers crown he must say a Big Big THANKS to Latvala ... GO FOOORD !!!!



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