Loeb closes gap with Australian win

Loeb closes gap with Australian win

Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb collected his sixth win of the World Rally Championship season at the Rally Australia, closing the gap on title leader Mikko Hirvonen to a single point.

Loeb edged out the Finn, who finished 12.5seconds back as runner-up – with pole-sitter Dani Sordo, also of Citroen, finishing third.

Loeb’s first win since April was his 53rd in the competition and tees up a thrilling finale to the season with two meetings to go.

The French driver had adopted a risky strategy on day two, opting to hand Ford’s Hirvonen the lead in exchange for a better starting position today, but he was delighted with the execution of his tactics.

“This one is a good one,” said Loeb.

“It was a hard fight – and because it’s been a long time since our last win, it feels especially good. It was really important for the championship to win here. We’ve done it and I’m really happy.

“Spain is next, and we’re one point behind Mikko – the championship is really interesting. It will be an incredible fight to the final, I think.”

Hirvonen, who pushed hard for a fourth consecutive win, was keen to put defeat behind him and focus on a double-header which could see him crowned World Rally champion for the first time.

“It was a really tough weekend. There have been many rallies this season where we’ve been absolutely flat out from start to finish – and this was one of those,” he said.

“But I couldn’t help it – Citroen did really well yesterday, and we didn’t have a chance today. We need to forget this one now and move on.”

More in this Section

Tipperary All-Ireland winner Tom Larkin passes awayTipperary All-Ireland winner Tom Larkin passes away

Thierry Henry sends message of support to Norwich kidney transplant youngsterThierry Henry sends message of support to Norwich kidney transplant youngster

Simon Jordan claims Premier League players are resisting pressure for a pay cutSimon Jordan claims Premier League players are resisting pressure for a pay cut

More FIFA bribe claims tabled in US courtMore FIFA bribe claims tabled in US court


Lifestyle

During the night of September 4, 2018, Billie Eilish ‘killed herself’ — in a dream. “I jumped off a building,” she said. What was most alarming about it was how little it alarmed her.Billie Eilish defies your expectations and sings her own life story

In a new daily feature, Arts editor Des O'Driscoll lists the best things on the box for the evening aheadTuesday's TV highlights: The past revisited

Don’t ask me which week it is at this stage — I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up one of these mornings and discover that it’s Christmas Day,Learner Dad: "I’m an Irish male born before 1990, so tears are not an option"

From DIY face masks to luxurious manicures, these will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.10 at-home beauty treatments to feel like you’re at a spa

More From The Irish Examiner