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Loeb takes Rallye Deutschland victory.

Loix guided his Accent home to collect one manufacturer point for the Korean marque. The Belgian enjoyed a largely trouble-free day. His team-mate Schwarz ended the event just one place behind him in 12th place.

Stohl's semi-works car finished further down the order in 18th place. The fourth works-specification Accent WRC on the event of Justin Dale finished the rally after a more mechanical maladies on this final leg. Dale's car stopped for five minutes on the second stage this morning. The British driver thought his event was all over, but after working on the ECU, the car finally fired up and allowed him to make it to the finish.

Schwarz said: ''This morning I was struggling a little bit in the long corners, the diff wasn't really working right - the car was understeering quite badly. The stages today have been very tricky.''

Loix added: ''The stages were okay this morning, except in the middle one where I stalled in a hairpin. I don't know why it happened, but we fired it up and carried on. We thought about trying to catch Roman Kresta who was not far ahead through the final loop - but the team didn't think this was such a good idea!''

Stohl continued: ''This event hasn't really gone that well for me. I dropped some time on the first day, but then yesterday and today - in the more difficult conditions - I felt I have been driving better - but it's hard to get the time back once it's gone. I have finished both of the rallies that I have started in this car, now I'm looking forward to my next outing where I want to keep that record going.''

At Skoda meanwhile neither of the two new Fabia WRC's finished, Toni Gardemeister going out yesterday and Didier Auriol retiring in the final test on day one.

Of the other entries Spain's Dani Sola took a comfortable win in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship. The Mitsubishi Lancer driver had controlled this event from the start. His only problem through the final day was a cracked exhaust manifold, which cost him some power from the Lancer's engine. Martin Rowe [Subaru Impreza] finished second, albeit four and a half minutes down. The British driver's cause wasn't helped when the gear lever snapped on his car on the opening loop of stages this morning.

Cedric Robert was the top non-official driver, placing his works-specification, Bozian Racing-run Peugeot 206 WRC in ninth place.



Rally statistics - Leg 3:

Starters: 56 crews (28 Group A and 28 Group N) started this morning.

Top retirements: Kresta (CZ).

Today - Sunday 27 July: Leg 3 started from Trier at 05h00 and covered 557.83km, including 101.54km on six stages.



Stage by stage summary - Leg 3:

SS17 Schones Moselland 1 (15.29kms):
1. McRae (GB) Citroen 9m 03.6
2. Loeb (F) Citroen 9m 06.8
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 9m 08.3

Leaders after SS17:
1. Loeb (F) Citroen 2h 55m 27.6
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 2h 55m 40.5
3. Martin (EE) Ford 2h 56m 07.0

SS18 Moselwein 1 (16.55kms):
1. McRae (GB) Citroen 10m 04.5
2. Burns (GB) Peugeot 10m 07.5
3. Loeb (F) Citroen 10m 12.5

Leaders after SS18:
1. Loeb (F) Citroen 3h 05m 40.1
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 05m 55.4
3. McRae (GB) Citroen 3h 06m 14.2

SS19 St. Wenderler Land 1 (18.93kms):
1. Sainz (E) Citroen 9m 52.6
2. Solberg (N) Subaru 9m 54.1
3. Duval (B) Ford 9m 57.9

Leaders after SS19:
1. Loeb (F) Citroen 3h 16m 04.0
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 16m 13.4
3. Burns (GB) Citroen 3h 16m 23.4

SS20 Schones Moselland 2 (15.29kms):
1. Martin (EE) Ford 9m 25.7
2. Duval (B) Ford 9m 29.0
3. Loeb (F) Citroen 9m 30.8

Leaders after SS20:
1. Loeb (F) Citroen 3h 25m 34.8
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 25m 45.4
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 3h 25m 54.4

SS21 Moselwein (16.55kms):
1. Martin (EE) Ford 10m 31.2
2. Loeb (F) Citroen 10m 33.5
3. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 10m 35.9

Leaders after SS21:
1. Loeb (F) Citroen 3h 36m 08.3
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 3h 36m 21.3
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot 3h 36m 34.7

SS22 St. Wender Land 2 (19.93kms):
1. Martin (EE) Ford 10m 32.3
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot 10m 32.7
3. Solberg (N) Subaru 10m 34.5

Leaders in Trier after SS22:
1. Loeb (F) Citroen 3h 46m 50.4
2. Gronholm (FIN) Peugeot +3.6
3. Burns (GB) Peugeot +19.7
4. McRae (GB) Citroen +31.4
5. Martin (EE) Ford +57.9
6. Sainz (E) Citroen +1m 38.6
7. Duval (B) Ford +1m 48.1
8. Solberg (N) Subaru +2m 30.2
9. Robert (F) Peugeot +3m 12.8
10. Panizzi (F) Peugeot +3m 39.6

FIA Production Car WRC leaders after SS22:
1. Sola (E) Mitsubishi 4h 11m 45.9
2. Rowe (GB) Subaru +4m 32.9
3. Kulig (PL) Mitsubishi +6m 47.4
4. Singh (MAL) Proton +9m 07.6
5. Blomqvist (S) Subaru +11m 37.4
6. Trivino (MEX) Mitsubishi +19m 32.3
7. Aur (RO) Mitsubishi +25m 38.0
8. Marrini (I) Mitsubishi +30m 48.5



Final rally statistics:

Event: The rally covered 1737.58km, including 388.23km on 22 special stages (including ten run twice). All stages were on asphalt roads closed to other traffic.

Starters: 79 crews (37 Group A and 42 Group N) started the rally.

Finishers: 44 crews (26 Group A and 18 Group N) finished the rally.

Stage winners:
Martin (SS3-4-9-10-11-13-15-20-21-22)
Burns (SS1-2-5-7)
Loeb (SS6-12)
Gronholm (SS8-14)
McRae (SS17-18)
Kresta (SS16)
Sainz (SS19)

Rally leaders:
SS1-3 Burns
SS4 Martin
SS5-8 Burns
SS9-12 Gronholm
SS13-22 Loeb


FIA World Rally Championships:

FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers (after 7 of 14 rounds): Burns (GB) 43, Sainz (E) 39, Gronholm (FIN) 38, Loeb (F) 33, Solberg (N) 30, C. McRae (GB) 28, Martin (EE) 27, Rovanpera (FIN) 16, Makinen (FIN) 15, Duval (B) 11, Gardemeister (FIN) 9, Panizzi (F) 6, Auriol (F) 4, Robert (F) 3, A.McRae (GB) 3 Hirvonen (FIN) 3, Schwarz (D) 3, Ginley (GB) 1.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
2003 Rallye Monte Carlo winners Sebastien Loeb [right] and co-driver Daniel Elena
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Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
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Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Bjorn Waldegard [Pic credit: Race Retro / www.historicmotorsportshow.com]
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Yazeed Al Rajhi, Michal Orr (Ford Fiesta RRC, #31 Yazeed Racing)
Jacques Villeneuve testing his Albatec Racing Peugeot [Pic credit: Gary Hawkins/Ebrey Photographic]
Jacques Villeneuve in his Albatec Racing Peugeot [Pic credit: Gary Hawkins/Ebrey Photographic]

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