Loeb wins Rally Germany for 9th time
Mon, 27 Aug 2012 3:27a.m.
Frenchman Sebastien Loeb made up for last year's disappointment by dominating the Rally Germany to win the race for the ninth time.
The eight-time world champion finished with a comfortable lead of 2 minutes and 0.1 seconds over Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala, with Citroen teammate Mikko Hirvonen 31.3 seconds further back in third.
"We had a perfect car so I was confident, and made no mistakes, which was also important. That's a perfect weekend," Loeb says.
Compatriot Sebastien Ogier won the race last year, breaking Loeb's run of eight straight wins.
Loeb won two stages on day three, finishing 2.2 seconds faster than Hirvonen in the third and final stage to also claim bonus points and make it nine wins from 15 overall.
Andreas Mikkelsen claimed the last bonus point with an impressive performance in his Skoda.
"That's a good way to end the rally. I enjoyed that stage," says the 23-year-old Norwegian.
Hirvonen was happy with the team's points despite a frustrating weekend personally.
"I really had a tough time on this rally but I learned a lot and came through without any mistakes. Now we are here on the podium, so it's not so bad," says the Finn.
Ford driver Petter Solberg claimed the second stage on the final day, but the former world champion could only finish 12th overall after crashing out on Saturday.
Mads Ostberg finished fourth overall, followed by Chris Atkinson, with Ogier sixth in his Skoda.
Loeb now leads the overall standings on 199 points, ahead of Hirvonen on 145, with four races remaining.
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