Record 9th title for Loeb

2012-10-07 15:54
Sebastien Loeb (AFP)

Strasbourg - Sebastien Loeb was crowned world rally champion for a record ninth successive time with two legs of the season still to come here on Sunday.

The French rally great clinched the title with victory in the Rally of France, leaving him with an unassailable lead in the overall standings.

There was double joy for his team Citroen who claimed the constructors title for the eighth time.

Loeb's win in his hometown of Haguenau in Alsace pushed him up to 244 points in the drivers' title race with his team-mate, Mikko Hirvonen who finished third, on 173 points and out of contention for the title with rallies in Italy and Spain remaining.

"I am the nonuple champion... nonuple, I don't even know this word, I'll have to learn it now!" said Loeb who is planning to compete in only four or five rallies next season as he shifts his focus to the Touring Car Championship.

He added: "The last day was very complicated. In the morning there was a lot of aqua-planing. I really scared myself during the first special stage when I came out of a bend too wide.

"But it was ok in the end. Then this afternoon I just looked after myself."

Loeb had a 15.5second cushion over second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala in a Ford Focus with Hirvonen 44sec back in third.

Rally of France standings after Sunday's third and final day at the 11th round of the world rally championship:

1. Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Citroen DS3 3hr 32min 53.0sec, 2. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS at 15.5sec, 3. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Citroen DS3 44.1, 4. Thierry Neuville (BEL) Citroen DS3 1:07.3, 5. Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS 1:16.4, 6. Ott Tanak (EST) Ford Fiesta RS 2:27.9, 7. Evgeny Novikov (RUS) Ford Fiesta RS 5:51.6, 8. Chris Atkinson (AUS) Mini Cooper 6:42.4, 9. Martin Prokop (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS 8:46.8, 10. Sebastien Chardonner (FRA) Citroen DS3 9:00.7

Stage winners: Neuville (SS1, SS17, SS18, SS19, SS21, SS22), Loeb (SS2, SS3, SS5, SS7, SS9, SS10, SS14, SS15), Latvala (SS4, SS6, SS8, SS11, SS13, SS16), Hirvonen (SS13), Tanak (SS20)

Note: SS12 cancelled because of security concerns for spectators

World championship standings


1. Sebastien Loeb (FRA) 244 pts, 2. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) 173, 3. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) 131, 4. Mads Ostberg (NOR) 125, 5. Petter Solberg (NOR) 119, 6. Evgeny Novikov (RUS) 69, 7. Thierry Neuville (BEL) 52, 8. Martin Prokop (CZE) 42, 9. Ott Tanak (EST) 37, 10. Sebastien Ogier (FRA) 31, 11. Dani Sordo (ESP) 31, 12. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) 28, 13. Christopher Atkinson (GBR) 14, 14. Armindo Araujo (POR) 11, 15. Francois Delecour (FRA) 8


1. Citroen Racing 388 pts, 2. Ford Motorsport 259, 3. M-Sport (Ford) 137, 4. Citroen Junior Team 72, 5. Adapta WRT 71


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.