Jari-Matti Latvala has won Wales Rally GB, his first victory since he triumphed on Rally Finland around 18 months ago.

It was a dramatic conclusion to the 2011 World Rally Championship, even though the title fight between Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen was decided on Friday in SS7, when the latter went off and damaged his radiator. Mikko's retirement gave Loeb his eighth successive WRC drivers' title, but the drama wasn't over and Seb himself was forced out on the final day, following an accident on the road section after SS18, when he collided with a car, which was on the wrong side of the road. No one was injured, but the Frenchman couldn't continue.

That left Latvala to cruise to the finish today and he took a deserved victory, eventually coming through more than 3.5 minutes up on Mads Ostberg.

Ostberg also enjoyed a good event and benefitted from the demise of Hirvonen and Loeb to finish the year as he started it in Sweden, on the podium in second place.

Henning Solberg held on to give Ford a clean sweep of the rostrum places, just ahead of Britain's Kris Meeke, in the ever impressive MINI John Cooper Works WRC car. Meeke put in a charge on the final day and cut the gap to 1.8 seconds prior to the final test. However in the Power Stage he spun and had to settle for fourth.

Matthew Wilson completed the top five, albeit more than 1.5 minutes further back, followed by Ott Tanak, who shone on his first outing in his DMACK tyres-shod Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

Evgeny Novikov, Dennis Kuipers, Ken Block and Armindo Araujo rounded out the points' scorers in positions 7 through to 10.

In terms of retirements, in addition to Hirvonen and Loeb, Petter Solberg and Kimi Raikkonen also failed to finish. Solberg was forced out on the road section to Hafren 1 on Saturday when a fuel pump broke, while Kimi went out after going into a ditch in SS12.

Sebastien Ogier and Dani Sordo completed the event, albeit outside the top-ten, having restarted under the SupeRally. Ogier crashed in the very first test, but fought back to take P11, while Sordo went off on Friday in SS5. He finished 20th in his MINI.

Both also did well in the Power Stage, Ogier taking the win, 2.7 seconds up on Sordo in second.

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Wales Rally GB: Overall standings after Stage 23 - Top 10:

1. Jari-Matti LatvalaFord Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC3hours 27mins 03.5secs M
2. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC+03mins 42.9secs M
3. Henning SolbergM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC+07mins 05.1secs
4. Kris MeekeMINI WRT John Cooper Works+07mins 12.3secs
5. Matthew WilsonM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC+08mins 57.3secs M
6. Ott TanakM-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC+09mins 27.1secs
7. Evgeny NovikovTeam Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC+09mins 47.7secs M
8. Dennis KuipersFERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC+10mins 12.7secs M
9. Ken BlockMonster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC+16mins 01.2secs M
10. Armindo AraujoMotorsport Italia MINI John Cooper Works +17mins 01.6secs


11. Sebastien OgierCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRC+17mins 47.8secs
13. Kevin AbbringVW Motorsport Skoda Fabia S2000+17mins 57.3secs
14. Haydon PaddonSubaru Impreza STi R4+18mins 51.6secs
14. Patrik FlodinSubaru Impreza +22mins 28.7secs P
19. Dani SordoMINI WRT John Cooper Works+38mins 10.5secs

Wales Rally GB: Power Stage / SS23 (Top 3):

1. Sebastien OgierCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRC2mins 41.3secs M
2. Dani SordoMINI WRT John Cooper Works+00mins 02.7secs
3. Jari-Matti LatvalaFord Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC+00mins 03.2secs M

NOTE: Top three finishers in Power Stage are awarded bonus points. 1st = 3 points; 2nd = 2 points; 3rd = 1 point

PWRC standings after Stage 23 - Top 3:

1. Patrik FlodinSubaru Impreza 3hours 49mins 32.2secs P
2. Michal KosciuszkoMitsubishi Lancer Evo X+12mins 14.7secs P
3. Nicolas FuchsMitsubishi Lancer Evo X+12mins 46.5secs P

Notable retirements:

SS1. Sebastien OgierCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRCHit a wall and ripped off a wheel M*

SS5. Dani SordoMINI WRT John Cooper WorksWent off*
SS5. Peter van Merksteijn Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC Went off M
SS6. Martin ProkopFord Fiesta RS WRCWent off*
SS7. Mikko HirvonenFord Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRCWent off M
SS7. Bader Al-JabriSubaru ImprezaWent off P
SS11. Jarkko NikaraMitsubishi Lancer Evo IXWent off P

SS12. Petter SolbergPSWRT Citroen DS3 WRCBroken fuel pump M
SS12/13. Kimi RaikkonenICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRCWent off
SS16. Jason PritchardSubaru ImprezaMechanical P

SS18/19. Sebastien LoebCitroen Total WRT DS3 WRCAccident on road section M
SS23. Benito GuerraMitsubishi Lancer Evo XWent off P

DSQ. Martin Semerad Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IXExcluded, as his upper suspension plates failed to conform to the technical regulations - had finished 2nd in PWRC and 15th overall P

*denotes re-started under SupeRally

all times unofficial



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