Rallying: All-conquering Loeb wins German Rally for a record eighth consecutive time

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The Independent Online

Defending world champion Sebastien Loeb won the German Rally for a record eighth consecutive time yesterday to extend his lead in the standings to 58 points.

The six-time world title winner led the event from start to finish to win by 51.3 seconds from Citroen C4 WRC team-mate Dani Sordo.

Citroen Junior team driver Sebastien Ogier made it a clean sweep for the French manufacturer after finishing one minute and 22sec behind Sordo.

Ford works team driver Jari-Matti Latvala was fourth, with privateer Citroen entrant Petter Solberg claiming fifth.

The win, Loeb's fifth of the season, made it 59 at world championship level for him and his co-driver, Daniel Elena, and took his points tally for the season to 191 compared to 133 for Ogier.

With four rounds of the series to go Loeb could clinch the world title in Japan next month ahead of races in France, Spain and Wales.

Loeb was delighted to have continued his dominance of the German race. He said: "This was a very good victory for me again, the eighth one in a row. It's incredible, I really have a good feeling on this rally. I wouldn't like to be beaten here and this time it's all OK again."

Sordo, on his first outing in the event in a factory Citroen, managed to keep Loeb in sight until his team-mate pulled clear on Saturday morning.

It was a positive result for Sordo as it was the first time he had competed with his new co-driver Diego Vallejo.

Ogier made up for a low-key start by passing Mikko Hirvonen for fourth and then claiming third from Latvala when the Finn spun.

Tyre damage on Friday meant that Solberg had to be content with fifth when a place on the podium had been possible, with the main battle of the weekend going on over sixth place.

Stobart Ford's Matthew Wilson eventually won that fight from former Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen despite the Citroen Junior driver winning the final superspecial stage after making some small mistakes on Sunday morning.

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