Sebastien Loeb triumphed in the Rally of Germany for the second
consecutive year, holding off the challenge of Marcus Gronholm.
The Frenchman, driving a Citroen Xsara, won by 3.6 seconds from reigning world champion Gronholm of Finland.
Loeb lost 10 seconds on the final stage to the Finn, but held on to claim the fourth rally title of his career.
It was his second success of the year, following victory in the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.
Loeb won in Germany last year when the event made its world championship debut.
Gronholm's Peugeot team-mate, Britain's former world title holder Richard Burns, finished third, 19.7 seconds off the lead.
Loeb and the rest of the drivers had to fight on slippery roads over the rally where tyre choice was all-important.
"By these unpredictable conditions it was a very
difficult rally - I really had to give everything until I
crossed the finish line," Loeb said.
Burns' third place means he has extended his lead in the world championship race
with 43 points.
His team-mate Carlos Sainz finished sixth in Germany and lies second overall with 39 points, followed by Gronholm
with 38 and Loeb with 33.
Loeb said he slowed down in the last stage because of the
conditions, until realising Gronholm had already cut 10
seconds off his lead by the midway point.
"I pushed then," Loeb said. "I am very happy. I have
had a good fight with Marcus all through the race."
Burns said he was content with third and building on his championship lead.
"I had to fight hard for that place. I made two driver's
mistakes on Saturday, but I still managed to build out my
lead in the world championship race," Burns said.
Peugeot leads the constructors' championship with 95 points,
followed by Citroen on 88, Ford at 50 and Subaru 49.