Citroen rally driver Sebastien Loeb is within touching distance of claiming this year World Rally Championship after taking victory in the Rally of Ireland.
The Frenchman dominated the event from start to finish, but it wasn’t entirely straightforward. He suffered a suspension problem on the first day and then picked up a ten second penalty for being late out of service. Despite that, he survived the tricky conditions to win the first Irish rally event.
As for his championship rival Marcus Gronholm, the Finn crashed out on the first day handing the title advantage to Loeb (the Frenchman is six points ahead as we approach the season-ending Rally GB).
“The rally was really, really difficult, but we managed to finish it,” said Loeb. “Ten points more for the championship is really important. That could change a lot of things for the championship. We will see in GB.
“For sure this rally was one of the most difficult we’ve ever done, because it was very muddy, but the car was really good. I had a really good feeling and I was not pushing so hard, just driving through with no risks.”
Finishing in second was his Citroen team-mate Dani Sordo, giving the team another perfect one-two result. Jari-Matti Latvala made up his Rally Japan error by claming his first WRC podium finish in