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Wales - day 3: Loeb breaks Rally GB duck.

Sebastien Loeb took the laurels on the Wales Rally GB this weekend following a dramatic final day scrap with Jari-Matti Latvala.

Loeb had been second pretty much throughout the three-day event, which took place in treacherous conditions in the forests of mid and south Wales. Ice and snow forced organisers to cancel much of Friday's opening leg and wintery conditions continued to provide a stern challenge on day's 2 and 3.

Going into Sunday's action, Loeb was 7.3 seconds off P1, but two quickest times in succession on the first loop allowed him to cut that margin to just 1.4 seconds.

He then seemingly did enough to take the lead in SS18, when he was again quickest. However a time penalty for supposedly jumping the start - something he fiercely denied - meant he actually went into SS19 2.4 seconds back.

Loeb however, charged through Port Talbot 2 and in the end won the event by 2.7 seconds, later actually confirmed to be 12.7 seconds, when organisers announced that his earlier penalty had been rescinded.

It was the first time Seb has ever won in GB - and also the first time the event has been won by a Frenchman. Loeb has now won every single WRC event on the modern calendar, with the exception of the Jordan Rally, which only joined the schedule for the first time this season.

“It has always been in the back of my mind that I haven't won this rally. This is the perfect end to my year - and a great relief,” said Loeb, who of course clinched the 2008 drivers' title - his fifth in succession - in Japan last month.

“It has been a good journey and a really good way to end the season like this. It is incredible and really good for the rally to have such a close fight with Jari-Matti Latvala.”

Loeb's victory in Wales was his eleventh of the year - and that means he has set yet another new record, this time for the highest number of wins in a single season in the WRC.



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podium, winners Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II) and 3th place Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
podium, winners Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II) and 3th place Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
podium, winners Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport), 2n place Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II) and 3th place Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle (Citroën DS3 WRC, #3 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)

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