Spain - day 3: Loeb wins and extends lead.

Sebastien Loeb dominated the Rally RACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada this weekend to take his ninth win of the season - and move closer to securing a record fifth drivers' title, something never before done in the history of the World Rally Championship.

Loeb seized control of the twelfth round in the series right from the word go and he completed the opening test on Friday, the 20.48 kilometre-run through La Mussara, in 11 minutes 17.3 seconds - 1.5 seconds up on his Citroen team-mate, Daniel Sordo.

It was in the next test though that he put in a big charge and extended his advantage to 7.4 seconds. He then just edged out Sordo in SS3 to return to the mid-day halt with a 7.5 second lead.

On the repeat loop in the afternoon Loeb continued in a similar vein, 1.3 seconds up on Sordo in SS4, 3.5 seconds ahead in SS5 and the same amount in front in SS6. He thus took a comfortable 15.8 second cushion into day two, maintaining his clean sweep in the morning, when he was fastest in SS7, SS8 and SS9.

While in the afternoon Mikko Hirvonen and Francois Duval beat him in SS10 and SS12, Loeb still managed to notch up another stage win and with a 27.7 second lead Sunday was pretty much a formality.

Indeed in the end he took the victory by 24.9 seconds, his fourth win on the trot, after also triumphing in Finland, Germany and New Zealand - and also his fourth win in succession in Spain, having won in 2007, 2006 and 2005 too.

Loeb now enjoys a 12-point lead over Mikko Hirvonen in the race for the 2008 drivers' title - and could clinch the honours on the Tour de Corse, his home event, next weekend.

"The win in this rally means we have achieved a total of 45 victories. Not bad! I am very happy to have got it because it is a huge step in the struggle for the drivers' title," said the Frenchman. "The rally went perfectly for us."

Dani Sordo meanwhile took the runners-up spot and like Loeb he put in an impressive performance. The Spaniard was the only runner anywhere near Loeb at times and he played the perfect support role en-route to taking P2 in front of his home supporters.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Loeb (F) - Daniel Elena (MC) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team; winners, Rally Catalunya - Costa Daurada
Sebastian Loeb (F) - Daniel Elena (MC) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team; Winner of the Rally Catalunya - Costa Daurada
Sebastian Loeb (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team; winner, Rally Catalunya - Costa Daurada
VW 2014 WRC title win in numbers
Sebastien Ogier collects his WRC champion`s trophy at the FIA Prizegiving in Doha
Sebastien Ogier and VW celebrate at the FIA Prizegiving
Robert Kubica at the Monza Rally Show
Ford Olsbergs MSE celebrates winning the RX Teams` Championship
Liam Doran
Teams line up for FIA World Rallycross
Teams line up for FIA World Rallycross
Nasser Al-Attiyah - Mini ALL4 Racing
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.