Loeb wins in Spain

LOEB HEADS THIRD STRAIGHT 1-2 FINISH AS CITROËN UNVEILS C4 WRC HYmotion 4

Sébastien Loeb led Citroën Total to its third consecutive one-two finish in Spain this weekend, and pulled further into the lead of the FIA World Rally Championship just as the wraps were coming off a radical new C4 WRC hybrid concept.

Loeb and his co-driver, Daniel Elena, dominated, leading from lights to flag in their Citroën C4 WRC to score their ninth victory of 2008.  Team-mates Dani Sordo and co-driver Marc Marti shadowed Loeb home to complete Citroën’s third one-two finish in Catalunya.

Citroën is as successful in producing ‘green’ cars as it is in winning rallies and visitors to the Paris Motor Show witnessed the unveiling of the C4 WRC HYmotion4, which merges the C4’s multi-championship winning technology with a Hybrid petrol electric powerplant.

While retaining its world-beating performance on the rally stages, the C4 WRC HYmotion4 can also stay true to Citroën’s environmental commitment by switching to silent, emission-free electric power on untimed runs between stages.

Loeb and Elena are now 12 points ahead of Mikko Hirvonen in the WRC standings, with three rallies remaining and Citroën is 27 points ahead in the Manufacturers’ championship.

Commenting on the rally, Sébastien explained “The stages we contested on day three were narrow, the asphalt was in a fairly poor state and it was quite bumpy, so we took special care not to pick up a puncture, I had to adapt the way I drove to manage the rate of wear on our Pirelli tyres. But we didn’t make any mistakes and our C4 WRC performed impeccably from start to finish.”

Sébastien’s next challenge will be this weekend (Oct 10-12) on the French island of Corsica.

Final positions 1.  S Loeb/D Elena                      FRA             Citroen C4              3hr 21min 17.4sec 2.  D Sordo/M Marti                     ESP             Citroen C4              3hr 21min 42.3sec 3.  M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen               FIN             Ford Focus RS   3hr 22min 19.9sec 4.  F Duval/P Pivato                    BEL             Ford Focus RS   3hr 22min 28.2sec 5.  P Solberg/P Mills                   NOR             Subaru Impreza  3hr 24min 44.8sec 6.  J-M Latvala/M Anttila               FIN             Ford Focus RS   3hr 25min 21.2sec 7.  C Atkinson/S Prévot         AUS             Subaru Impreza  3hr 25min 22.3sec 8.  A Mikkelsen/O Floene                NOR             Ford Focus RS   3hr 26min 37.0sec 9.  M Wilson/S Martin           GBR             Ford Focus RS   3hr 29min 00.6sec 10 B Tirabassi/F Gordon         FRA             Subaru Impreza  3hr 30min 22.4sec

Drivers                                                 1.  S Loeb                      96pts                   2.  M Hirvonen          84pts                   3.  D Sordo                     59pts                   4.  C Atkinson                  42pts                   5.  J-M Latvala         37pts                   6.  P Solberg                   36pts                  

Manufacturers 1.  Citroen Total               159pts 2.  BP Ford Abu Dhabi   132pts 3.  Subaru                        80pts 4.  Stobart VK M-Sport Ford  55pts 5.  Munchi's Ford                 22pts 6.  Suzuki                        20pts

Stage Times

Stage 13: 1. Duval 10min 32.8sec; 2. Sordo + 2.3; 3. Loeb + 3.7; 4=. Latvala, Mikkelsen + 5.5; 6. Atkinson + 6.4; 7. Hirvonen + 6.9; 16. Al Qassimi + 24.7.

Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 33min 33.7sec; 2. Sordo + 26.3; 3. Duval + 47.7; 4. Hirvonen + 1:07.8; 5. P Solberg + 3:11.2; 6. Aava + 3:12.0; 24. Al Qassimi + 19:10.0.

Stage 14: 1. Loeb 15min 49.1sec; 2. Sordo + 1.2; 3. Duval + 3.2; 4. Hirvonen + 5.0; 6. P Solberg + 10.8; 6. Aava + 12.2; 16. Al Qassimi + 56.5.

Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 49min 22.8sec; 2. Sordo + 27.5; 3. Duval + 50.9; 4. Hirvonen + 1:12.8; 5. P Solberg + 3:22.0; 6. Aava + 3:24.2; 24. Al Qassimi + 20:06.5.

Stage 15: 1. Sordo 2min 37.3sec; 2. Hirvonen + 0.5; 3. Aava + 1.2; 4. Loeb + 1.9; 5. Duval + 2.3; 6. Atkinson + 2.6; 18. Al Qassimi + 2.50.9.

Overall: 1. Loeb 2hr 52min 02.0sec; 2. Sordo + 25.6; 3. Duval + 51.3; 4. Hirvonen + 1:11.4; 5. P Solberg + 3:23.4; 6. Aava + 3:23.5; 24. Al Qassimi + 20:18.2.

Stage 16: 1. Hirvonen 10min 32.7sec; 2. Latvala + 1.4; 3. Sordo + 2.2; 4. Loeb + 5.1; 5. Aava + 5.5; 6. Mikkelsen + 5.7; 8. Duval + 8.1; 15. Al Qassimi + 21.9.

Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 02min 39.8sec; 2. Sordo + 22.7; 3. Duval + 54.3; 4. Hirvonen + 1:06.3; 5. Aava + 3:23.9; 6. P Solberg + 3:26.8; 23. Al Qassimi + 20:35.0.

Stage 17: 1. Hirvonen 15min 53.9sec; 2. Loeb + 1.8; 3. P Solberg + 3.1; 4. Sordo + 4.3; 5. Latvala + 5.6; 6. Atkinson + 6.4; 7. Duval + 20.2; 16. Al Qassimi + 54.3.

Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 18min 35.5sec; 2. Sordo + 25.2; 3. Hirvonen + 1:04.5; 4. Duval + 1:12.7; 5. P Solberg + 3:26.1; 6. Latvala + 4:03.5; 21. Al Qassimi + 21:27.5.

Stage 18: 1. Hirvonen 2min 39.9sec; 2. Duval + 0.1; 3. Atkinson + 0.5; 4. P Solberg + 1.3; 5. Sordo + 1.7; 6. Loeb + 6.4; 7. Duval + 20.2; 16. Al Qassimi + 13.6.

Overall: 1. Loeb 3hr 21min 17.4sec; 2. Sordo + 24.9; 3. Hirvonen + 1:02.5; 4. Duval + 1:10.8; 5. P Solberg + 3:27.4; 6. Latvala + 4:03.8; 21. Al Qassimi + 21:39.1


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