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Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Sunday, 17 August 2008 13:42 UK

Loeb triumphs in Rally of Germany

Sebastien Loeb
Loeb claimed a seventh straight win in the Rally of Germany

Sebastien Loeb won his seventh straight Rally of Germany title to get back on track for a record fifth consecutive world drivers' championship.

Loeb, 34, completed the 19-stage event in three hours, 26 minutes, 20.3 seconds to finish 47.4 seconds ahead of Citroen team-mate Daniel Sordo.

The Frenchman's victory lifted him back on top of the drivers' standings, four points clear of Finn Mikko Hirvonen.

Hirvonen came fourth, 1:19.7 adrift, while Francois Duval was third.

This result does not mean the title is already decided

Sebastien Loeb
Loeb and Spain's Sordo eased off through Sunday's five stages, culminating in a sprint through Trier's city centre, leaving Belgian Duval and Hirvonen to battle it out for the last podium place.

"It was a perfect rally for me but Mikko has become a lot stronger on asphalt," said Loeb. "This result does not mean the title is already decided."

Stobart Ford asphalt specialist Duval, who held a 3.9-second lead over Hirvonen at the start of the day, set the fastest time in the four opening stages to end the rally nine seconds clear of his Ford Abu Dhabi rival.


"I would have preferred third but fourth on tarmac is not so bad for me," said Hirvonen, the only driver still with a realistic chance of overtaking Loeb in the overall standings.

"We've done some good stage times and set some good splits, so if we can increase the consistency it's not looking so bad for the tarmac rallies later in the season."

Subaru drivers Petter Solberg of Norway and Chris Atkinson of Australia finished fifth and sixth with Stobart Ford's Henning Solberg and Citroen's Estonian Urmo Aava completing the top eight.

Final Rally of Germany results:
1. Sebastien Loeb (Fra) Citroen 3hrs 26mins 19.700secs
2. Daniel Sordo (Spa) Citroen + 47.700 secs
3. Francois Duval (Bel) Ford 1:20.000
4. Mikko Hirvonen (Fin) Ford 1:30.100
5. Petter Solberg (Nor) Subaru 2:35.300
6. Chris Atkinson (Aus) Subaru 4:45.900
7. Henning Solberg (Nor) Ford 5:36.200
8. Urmo Aava (Est) Citroen 5:37.800
9. Jari-Matti Latvala (Fin) Ford 6:17.200
10. Toni Gardemeister (Fin) Suzuki 7:16.800

see also
Loeb extends Germany Rally lead
16 Aug 08 |  Rallying
Loeb triumphs at Rally of Finland
03 Aug 08 |  Rallying
Hirvonen wins the Rally of Turkey
15 Jun 08 |  Rallying
Loeb moves ahead in title battle
01 Jun 08 |  Rallying
Loeb win closes gap on Hirvonen
18 May 08 |  Rallying

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