[QODLink]
Sport
Loeb wins in Monte Carlo
Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb wins the opening rally of the season.
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2007 12:37 GMT

Citroen one-two: Sebastien Loeb, front, and Dani Sordo on a leisurely drive through Monte Carlo [AFP]

Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb began his chase for a record-equaling fourth consecutive world rally title with a 38.2 second win in the season-opening race in Monte Carlo on Sunday.
Thirty-two years old Loeb beat Spanish team-mate Dani Sordo to give Citroen a one-two finish on the debut of their new C4 WRC car, ahead of Finland's Marcus Gronholm, driving a Ford, in third place.

"I like to start the season like this with 10 points," Loeb told reporters.

"The car is really fast. It was a good start to the season and hopefully we will be able to continue it like this," he added.

It was the Frenchman's 29th rally victory with navigator Daniel Elena in 83 World Rally Championship starts with the pair dominating in the mountains around the Mediterranean principality since Thursday's opening stage.

Loeb, a triple world champion, won the title in a works Citroen in 2004 and 2005 before defending it last year in a privately entered Citroen Xsara, and is looking to become the third driver with four rally crowns after Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen.

Makinen is the only driver so far to win four successive world titles, from 1996-99.

Australian driver Chris Atkinson snuck into took fourth place in his Subaru with a 0.2 second advantage over Ford's Mikko Hirvonen when winning the 2.8km 15th and final stage around the streets of Monaco.

"To come out on top (of Hirvonen) is really awesome," Atkinson said.

"The guys have done an amazing job. I can't wait for the rest of the year now."

The next rally is in Sweden from February 9 to 11.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
join our mailing list