Sebastian Loeb claimed his ninth Rally of Germany title with victory in Trier today.
The Frenchman made it nine wins from 10 in the Rallye Deutschland by pipping Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala to second with Mikko Hirvonen finishing third.
Loeb strengthened his lead at the top of drivers’ table by finishing two minutes and 0.01 second ahead of Latvala.
The 38-year-old, who first won the German title in 2002, built up a 20-second lead on Friday before extending the gap yesterday as Petter Solberg damaged his car against a rock.
And after starting today with a lead of one minute and 42 seconds, the Citroen driver successfully negotiated the 4.37 kilometres Circus Maximus Trier super special to cruise toward a ninth victory from 15 stages.
Loeb said: “The Rallye Deutschland is a race where it is easy to make mistakes. A lot of drivers have made them. This is a tricky rally with narrow roads.
“We managed to not make a mistake from the beginning and I drove very clean. The result is there to see.”
Runner-up Latvala said: “It has not been an easy rally. A lot has happened.
“But overall I am happy we are at the finish – and this is my best finish on a tarmac rally.”
Latvala’s compatriot Hirvonen took the final place on the podium and said: “I had a really tough time on this rally, but we came through with no mistakes and I learned a lot.”
The WRC season continues with the Wales Rally Great Britain, which begins in Cardiff on September 13.