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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 November 2007, 14:38 GMT
Ireland win puts Loeb in control
Sebastien Loeb in the Sligo countryside on his way to winning Rally Ireland
Loeb had things his own way in Ireland after Gronholm's crash
Sebastien Loeb is on course for a fourth consecutive World Rally Championship title after winning the Rally Ireland on Sunday.

The Citroen driver capitalised on rival Marcus Gronholm's crash to win the event and open up a six-point lead in the title race with one rally left.

Loeb's time was three hours one minute 39.2 seconds, 53.4 secs ahead of Dani Sordo, with Jari-Matti Latvala third.

Mikko Hirvonen of Finland, who is third in the title race, came home fourth.

Gronholm came into the penultimate rally of the championship ahead of Loeb in the standings, but crashed out on Friday.

Loeb now has 110 points, compared to Gronholm's 104, with only the Rally GB, from 30 November-2 December, left to come.

"Ten points more for the championship is really important. That could change a lot of things for the championship.

"It was really great to win here, especially with Marcus scoring no points. I knew after the crash of Marcus, it all depended on me," said Loeb.

"This rally was one of the most difficult we've ever done, because it was very muddy but the car was really good. I had a really good feeling and I was not pushing so hard, just driving through with no risks."


Rally Ireland result:
1 S Loeb (Fr) Citroen 3 hrs 01 min 39.200 secs
2 D Sordo (Spn) Citroen @ 00:53.400
3 J-M Latvala (Fin) Ford @ 01:48.200
4 M Hirvonen (Fin) Ford @ 02:17.700
5 P Solberg (Nor) Subaru @ 02:55.800
6 G Wilks (GB) Subaru @ 05:57.900
7 M Wilson (GB) Ford @ 10:04.900
8 G Mac Hale (NI) Ford @ 11:08.300
9 A Mikkelsen (Nor) Ford @ 13:08.200
10 N McShea (GB) Subaru @ 16:32.100

Driver standings
1 S Loeb (Fr) 110 points
2 M Gronholm (Fin) 104
3 M Hirvonen (Fin) 89
4 D Sordo (Spn) 61
5 P Solberg (Nor) 42


SEE ALSO
Loeb dominates in Rally Ireland
17 Nov 07 |  Rallying
Gronholm crashes out in Ireland
16 Nov 07 |  Rallying
Gronholm takes Rally Ireland lead
15 Nov 07 |  Rallying
Loeb and Gronholm face Irish duel
15 Nov 07 |  Rallying
Jordan lauds Rally Ireland impact
13 Nov 07 |  Rallying
Irish welcome World Rally stars
11 Nov 07 |  Rallying
Loeb crash damages title chances
27 Oct 07 |  Rallying


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