A nailbiting finish resulted in Loeb snatching victory from Jari-Matti Latvala by 12.7 seconds.
With Citroen team mate - Dani Sordo in a safe 3rd place on the final day - thus practically ensuring Citroens Team's title - Seb was let off the leash to go for the win. He gradually chipped away at Jari Matti's lead - although at one stage - a jump start penalty of 10 seconds on the penultimate stage - which was subsequently retracted after on board video evidence was reviewed - looked as if the result was going to be very close.
An amazing year for Seb - his first victory on Rally GB - he has won 11 times this year - scoring a 122 points out of a maximum 150 available. And lets face it in his recent test in the F1 Red Bull he was right on the pace - bloody talented driver full stop.
Rally summary PR below:
Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena ended the season as true champions - by winning the one World Championship event that had eluded them since they first contested the WRC in 2002. They also entered the record books as the first drivers to win 11 WRC events in a single season.Another driving partnership to make history was Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen who finished eighth in their Focus RS WRC. The Finns single point ensured they became the first drivers ever to score points on every round of the WRC in a single season.Loeb, 33, had secured his world title in Japan, but the Manufacturer Championship went down to the wire between Citroen and Ford. Despite the best efforts of Jari-Matti Latvala, who lead from Stage six to 18, the French team overcame the defending Champions.Sebastien Ogier, making his debut in a C4 WRC car, demonstrated his potential and why the French Motor sport Federation is backing him with a rally-leading performance over icy gravel roads until he rolled out o the rally on left the road on stage 9, Resolfen.Another youngster to impress was Tom Cave from Aberdyfi. Still with “P” plates on his 1600cc two wheel drive Fiesta, the 17 year old, who passed his driving test at the end of November, won his class by almost 15 minutes and finished 30th overall in an entry dominated by four-wheel-drive turbocharged carsDarlington’s Guy Wilks, reunited with his Welsh co-driver Phil Pugh finished 14th and retained his British Championship title and, along with Gwyndaf Evans and co-driver Gareth Roberts, earned sufficient points for their entrant Mitsubishi Motors UK to retain their Team’s Cup.“The Welsh hillsides echoed to further celebrations with the news that Builth Wells youngster Jason Pritchard had claimed 28th place, first two wheel drive car and won the BRC Citroen C2 R2 Cup on the event. The reward was clinched the overall C2R”2 title.Valentino Rossi - in the livery of Stobart and carrying the Pudsey Bear logo - finished 12th overall. The polished ice and the muddy, slippery stages where a challenge even to the most experienced drivers, let alone one who had only experienced two previous rallies in a 300 hp World Rally Car.Of the 78 starters 47 were classified when the rally returned to its base in Cardiff on Sunday afternoon.The real heroes of the 1428 kilometre rally – albeit some stages cancelled or shortened by adverse weather conditions – were the volunteer marshals who modified stage routes to ensure the safety of competitors and themselves without disrupting the spectacle for the 1000’ of spectators who braved the wintry conditions to savour the very best drivers in the world.
1 - Sebastien Loeb - Citroen2 - Jari-Matti Latvala - Ford3 - Dani Sordo - Citroen4 - Petter Solberg - Subaru5 - Per Gunnar Anderssons - Suzuki6 - Francois Duval - Ford7 - Toni Gardemeister - Suzuki8 - Mikko Hirvonen - Ford9 - Matthew Wilson - Ford10 - Barry Clark - Ford