Citroen number one driver Sebastien Loeb
has secured victory on Rally Deutschland today, coming out top by over 50 seconds.
Loeb, who started as the favourite, didn't disappoint and he led throughout, once again proving he is the master in Germany and stretching his unbroken run of wins on the Trier-based round to eight.
In the end the Frenchman was quickest in nine of the 19 stages and only once did he post a time slower than second, when he was fifth in the short 4.37 km event ending Trier super special.
Seb ended the opening day 9.5 seconds up on his team-mate, Dani Sordo, his only real threat throughout the three-days. However, while the multiple WRC champion was kept honest initially on Saturday morning, he broke free from the Spaniard on the first run through the demanding 48 km Panzerplatte test, doubling his lead to 23 seconds.
Going into the final leg, Loeb led by 35.7 seconds and despite apparently taking it easy he still won two more tests en-route
to his fifth win of the year and his 59th in total. The result further strengthens his position in the battle for the 2010 WRC drivers' title, extending his lead from 48 points to 58 with just four rounds to go.
"This is incredible - it is just great to be the winner here for the eighth time. In this rally we have had no problems at all and drove without making any mistakes. I had to win here," Loeb said.
Sordo meanwhile took the runners-up spot and while the gap to Loeb at the end was big, the Spaniard opted to ease off and consolidate second after losing so much ground in SS10. It was still a very good performance though, especially as he had to get use to his new co-driver, Diego Vallejo.
"I am very happy," Sordo said. "At first I was able to keep up with Seb's pace but he got faster and faster. Anyway, it is a really great result and this was with my new co-driver."
The result was also a great one for Citroen
as it means it took its second maximum haul of the year leaving Ford further behind in the Manufacturers'.
Just for good measure, Sebastien Ogier
was third too giving the French team a clean sweep of the podium places.
Ogier, back with the Citroen
Junior Team for this round, got by Jari-Matti Latvala
on Saturday morning when the Finn spun in Panzerplatte 1. The youngster then pulled further ahead and beat the BP Ford
Abu Dhabi WRT man to P3 by 20.6 seconds: "This is my first position on the podium on an asphalt rally," Ogier noted. "We have had a great weekend."