Loeb extends lead in WRC with another victory in the Rally of Deutschland
The seemingly inexorable march of Sebastien Loeb towards his fourth WRC title continued in Germany this weekend as he took another win on the twisty tarmac stages. Leading from the off, the Citroen looked strong as it kept the pack at bay while negotiating stages in the reverse direction from previous Rally’s of Deutschland. Loeb only suffered minor problems with his turbo on day three, but by then the gap was sufficient to ensure a victory barring a complete engine failure.
The Ford duo of Petter Solberg and Jari-Matti Latvala gave chased hard but seldom looked as if they could mount a serious challenge to the flying Frenchman. Jari-Matti managed to claim second after his team mate lost a rear wheel having struck a rock. Meanwhile Loeb’s team mate Hirvonen claimed third place on the podium, though was somewhat handicapped by his lack of tarmac stage practice in the Citroen DS3.
Taking this win means that Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena have now won the Rally of Deutschland an incredible nine times, which in turn puts Citroen on track for winning eight manufacturers titles. With the gap between first and second place standing at 54 points, with third place another 41 points adrift with just four rallies remaining, it seems that Sebastien Loeb’s team mate Mikko Hirvonen is the only possible challenger to the Frenchman as he steamrollers his way to another World Championship.
With Wales Rally GB the next of the card, the Ford Team will no doubt be hoping to claw back some lost ground at their home rally. Whether Loeb will let them remains to be seen. For NGK however the Rally of Deutschland was smiles all round with all the podium places filled by cars sparked by NGK.