Since 2002, only one driver remained unbeatable on the Rallye Deutschland. His name? Sébastien Loeb. His achievement? Winning the event for the sixth time, thereby closing the championship gap to rival Marcus Grönholm to eight points.
Loeb dominated the three-day event with ease and it was fitting that his main championship rival lost track position after losing control in his Ford Focus. Grönholm should have finished in second, but under extreme pressure by the flying Citroen of Francois Duval, the Finn went off in the final stage… Handing the position to Duval.
Grönholm managed to continue in his damaged car and was lucky to finish fourth, behind his Ford team-mate Mikko Hirvonen.
After crossing the line, Frenchman Loeb expresses his gratitude to Duval for pressuring Grönholm into his error.
“I must say thank you to Francois Duval because he was pushing incredibly hard,” Loeb said.
Duval was equally thrilled with his second place. “I pushed a lot… I’m very happy – after eight months (away) it’s incredible.”
So a great drive by the two Citroen WRC drivers. The championship now heads to New Zealand in two weeks time. Can Sébastien Loeb reduce the points gap further?