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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Sunday, 25 October 2009

Loeb secures sixth title in a row

Co-driver Daniel Elena and Sebastien Loeb celebrate
Loeb sped through the Welsh mud to claim a sixth straight title

Sebastien Loeb claimed a record sixth successive world rally title with victory at the Rally GB in Wales.

The Frenchman won the title by a single point from Finland's Mikko Hirvonen, who led Loeb by one point going into the race but could only finish second.

"I'm really happy for this one because Mikko is strong," Citroen driver Loeb told World Rally Championship radio.

"A sixth title is awesome. It's been a season of highs and lows - it's a huge moment. The battle was so intense."

Loeb won seven of the 12 rounds during the season, and the Rally GB victory was the 54th race win of his career.

The 35-year-old won by 66 seconds on Sunday but was helped enormously when Hirvonen suffered a mishap on the third of the day's four stages.

Having pegged back the Frenchman's overnight lead from 30 to 18 seconds, the Finn was forced to stop when his bonnet flipped up, costing him a minute.

Ford driver Hirvonen said: "It was definitely the best year I've ever had but a big disappointment in the end. I need to go back to work and try to find more speed for next year."

606: DEBATE
raoulbitenbois

Loeb's Citroen Total team-mate Dani Sordo finished third, taking the final step on the podium in Wales and securing third place in the 2009 drivers' championship.

Britain's Matthew Wilson was sixth and finished the season seventh overall.


Rally of Great Britain result:

1. Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen 3hrs 16mins 25.400secs
2. Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Ford +01:06.100
3. Daniel Sordo (Spain) Citroen 01:07.100
4. Petter Solberg (Norway) Citroen 01:28.100
5. Henning Solberg (Norway) Ford 06:28.000
6. Matthew Wilson (Britain) Ford 07:46.000
7. Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Ford 12:11.900
8. Conrad Rautenbach (Zimbabwe) Citroen 14:27.800

Final World Championship standings:

1. Sebastien Loeb (France) 93 points
2. Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) 92
3. Daniel Sordo (Spain) 64
4. Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) 41
5. Petter Solberg (Norway) 35
6. Henning Solberg (Norway) 33
7. Matthew Wilson (Britain) 28

Final Constructor standings:

1. Citroen Total WRT 167 points

2. BP-Ford Abu-Dhabi WRT 140

3. Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT 80

4. Citroen Junior Team 47

5. Munchi's Ford WRT 23

*Watch highlights of the Rally GB on BBC TWO Wales on Monday, 2330 GMT



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see also
Rally GB diary - Sunday
25 Oct 09 |  Rallying
Rally GB secures future in Wales
24 Oct 09 |  Rallying
British rally Welsh venue doubt
22 Oct 09 |  Rallying
Rally GB diary - Saturday
24 Oct 09 |  Rallying
Rally GB diary - Friday
23 Oct 09 |  Rallying
Rally GB diary
22 Oct 09 |  Rallying
Rally threat after 2m grant axed
15 Apr 09 |  Wales
Loeb triumphs in Wales Rally GB
07 Dec 08 |  Rallying
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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