Citroen has pulled away from Peugeot in the WRC Manufacturers' standings to lead the championship by four points, thanks to Xsara WRC drivers Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz coming home first and fourth respectively in Sanremo.

Loeb led the rally from start to finish, setting the fastest time in five stages and successfully fending off challenges from Markko Martin and, in the latter stages, Gilles Panizzi, to take the Sanremo trophy - his third win of the season.

Today's win has also propelled him up the Drivers' Championship standings: he now lies second to Richard Burns by just two points, with three rallies still to go.

A solid drive from Sainz allowed him to hold fast to his fourth place, earning five Championship points. He was also awarded the title 'Immarsat Star of the Rally' for his efforts at Sanremo, battling through the pain barrier, following kidney surgery last week.

Fellow Citroen Xsara WRC driver Colin McRae also gave a consistent performance today, moving up one place to sixth overall, still holding off rival Brit Richard Burns by nearly three minutes.

The fourth Citroen Xsara WRC of Philippe Bugalski and Piedrafita Sport finished eighth overall, ensuring that the double chevrons dominated the Sanremo leaderboard.

Team boss Guy Frequelin concluded: "What a fantastic rally! I'm very proud of the team, and the result we've achieved in both Manufacturers' and Drivers' Championships. I hope for even better moments in the coming month."



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