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Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Sunday, 5 October 2008 13:59 UK

Loeb stretches championship lead

Sebastien Loeb
Loeb leads the standings by 12 points with just three races remaining

World champion Sebastien Loeb won the Rally of Spain on Sunday for the fourth year in a row to extend his lead in the world championship to 12 points.

The Frenchman beat Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo into second while Mikko Hirvonen, who is second in the overall standings, could only finish third.

It was Loeb's fourth straight win, following his recent successes in Finland, Germany and New Zealand.

There are three races - in Corsica, Japan and Wales - left this season.

Five-time world champion Loeb has won nine out of 12 races this season and leads Hirvonen by 96 points to 84.

606: DEBATE

Hirvonen only claimed third place after switching positions with his obliging Belgian team-mate Francois Duval on the penultimate stage.

"We had a great fight the first day and for part of the second up to the point when we pulled clear to calm things down a bit," said Loeb.

Norway's Petter Solberg was fifth for Subaru, nearly three-and-a-half minutes off the pace.


Rally of Spain result:

1 Sebastien Loeb (FR) Citroen 3hr 21min 17.4sec
2 Dani Sordo (Sp) Citroen at 24.9s
3 Mikko Hirvonen (Fin) Ford Focus 1:02.5
4 Francois Duval (Bel) Ford Focus 1:10.8
5. Petter Solberg (Nor) Subaru Impreza 3:27.4
6 Jari-Matti Latvala (Fin) Ford Focus 4:03.8
7 Chris Atkinson (Aus) Subaru Impreza 4:04.9
8 Andreas Mikkelsen (Nor) Ford Focus 5:19.6
9 Matthew Wilson (GB) Ford Focus 7:43.2
10 Brice Tirabassi (Fr) Subaru Impreza 9:05.0

Driver standings:

1 Loeb 96 points
2 Hirvonen 84
3 Sordo 59
4 Atkinson 42
5 Latvala 37
6 Petter Solberg

Constructor standings:

1 Citroen 159 points
2 BP-Ford 132
3 Subaru 80
4 Stobart Ford 55
5 Munchi's Ford 22
6 Suzuki 20


see also
Loeb gifted New Zealand victory
31 Aug 08 |  Rallying
Loeb triumphs in Rally of Germany
17 Aug 08 |  Rallying
Loeb triumphs in Rally of Finland
03 Aug 08 |  Rallying


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