Rallying: Loeb chalks up hat-trick by cruising to Cyprus victory

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The Independent Online

Sébastien Loeb won his third successive world rally as he claimed victory in the Cyprus Rally to extend his lead at the top of the drivers' championship.

Sébastien Loeb won his third successive world rally as he claimed victory in the Cyprus Rally to extend his lead at the top of the drivers' championship.

The Citroën driver finished with a comfortable 4min 9.5sec advantage over Manfred Stohl, who takes away an impressive eight points in his privately entered Citroën.

The remaining Peugeot of Markko Martin claimed the final podium spot, lifting him to joint second in the drivers' championship with Petter Solberg, while Henning Solberg was fourth in his privateer Ford.

Loeb dominated the event from the outset and held on to the lead from the second stage on Friday. The Frenchman went on to claim a total of 12 stage victories with few problems as his rivals struggled.

Britain's Mark Higgins did not finish the event after his car caught fire.

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