Rally: Six of the best for Sébastien after GB victory

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Sebastien Loeb clinched his sixth world rally title with victory in the final race of the season, the Rally of Great Britain.

The Frenchman had a comfortable win over world title rival Mikko Hirvonen who had gone into the final event of the season leading the world title race.

But Loeb, driving the Citroen C4 WRC, secured his sixth world crown with a 54th world rally event win in Wales.

After completing the final Rheola stage Loeb was able to celebrate beating Hirvonen, of the BP Ford Abu Dhabi team, by a single world championship point.

Loeb said: "It's been an incredible season. We made a good start then we lost everything and we came here one point behind Mikko.

"Finally we've done it and I'm really happy but Mikko has been extremely strong. I know it will be tough next year for sure.

"This has been one of my best title wins; the battle was so intense - going almost until the end of the last rally. It was incredible."

Hirvonen finished the rally as runner-up and also could only manage second best behind Loeb in the title fight.

The Finn said: "Now I need to go back to work and find more speed for next year. It was definitely the best year I've ever had, though.

"We're really close now to his speed and that feels good. It's been a great year, but of course a big disappointment at the end."

Third place in both the rally and also the final world championship standings went to Loeb's team-mate Dani Sordo.

"This has been a great day and a great championship, I'm really happy," said the Spaniard.

Fourth place went to Petter Solberg (Citroen Junior Team) with his elder brother Henning next to finish for the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team.

Sixth went to Matthew Wilson (Ford), with Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford) in seventh and Conrad Rautenbach (Citroen) claiming the final championship point on offer in eighth.