Arab Today, arab today sebastien loeb wins sixth monte carlo rally
Last Updated : GMT 16:35:27
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Racked up his 68th career victory

Sebastien Loeb wins sixth Monte Carlo Rally

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Sebastien Loeb wins sixth Monte Carlo Rally

Citroen's French superstar Sebastien Loeb
Paris - Arabstoday

Citroen\'s French superstar Sebastien Loeb Citroen\'s French superstar Sebastien Loeb racked up his 68th career victory and his sixth win on the Monte Carlo Rally on Sunday, underlining his status as the most successful driver in the event\'s 80-year history. Having been absent from the WRC calendar for the last three years (after joining the rival Intercontinental Rally Challenge) Monte Carlo made a triumphant return in 2012 with a marathon five-day long itinerary that stretched from Valence in the south of France to the glittering Principality of Monaco.
One of the early leaders, in changeable conditions, was Ford\'s Jari-Matti Latvala but the young Finn was distracted by a patch of ice and crashed into retirement on SS4.
“I started to concentrate only on the ice and not on the notes,” Latvala said. “Everything was in place to do well, and that\'s what\'s killing me inside.”
From that point on it was business as usual with Loeb taking and then extending an impressive lead. This was despite an extremely complicated tire choice on the second day of the event, as drivers tried to find consistent grip in conditions that ranged from dry asphalt to sheet ice.
The wrong tire choice meant that Petter Solberg, on his debut with the factory Ford team, dropped nearly a minute to Mini driver Dani Sordo on day two as the duo were fighting for the runner-up slot. In the end, Sordo was able to hold off the Norwegian, who was nonetheless able to finish third and secure his best-ever result in Monte Carlo.
Neither of them though had any answers to Loeb, who not only won the rally but also picked up three bonus championship points by going quickest on the Power Stage.
“It\'s always a great moment to begin the season like this especially in front of so many fans,” Loeb said. “Full points in the first race is incredible and for sure it\'s the perfect start to my title defense. But Monte Carlo is my rally. For the others, we will have to see.”
Loeb has a new teammate for this year in Mikko Hirvonen, who moved from Ford. The Finn said that he took some time to adapt to the Citroen DS3 WRC in competition, but he grew in confidence as the rally went on, setting three fastest stage times and claiming fourth overall.
The privateer Ford of Russian driver Evgeny Novikov was fifth, ahead of Francois Delecour, returning to a World Rally Car for the first time in 10 years.
Sebastien Ogier, Loeb\'s teammate last year, made his competition debut with Volkswagen Motorsport, driving a Skoda Fabia Super 2000 while the German firm develops its all-new Polo WRC. Despite the Super 2000 car having much less horsepower and torque than the World Rally Cars, Ogier astonishingly ran in the top six, before he pushed just a little too hard and had the biggest accident of his career on day two.
The World Rally Championship resumes on Rally Sweden, Feb. 9-12.
 

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