[QODLink]
Sport
Loeb a finish away from ninth title
With a 61 point lead over teammate, Frenchman Sebastien Loeb just needs to finish Rallye de France-Alsace to win title.
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2012 16:57
Citroen driver Sebastien Loeb has won the Championship a record eight times in a row [AFP]

Frenchman Sebastien Loeb, who was forced to retire from his home race last year, could secure a record ninth world rallying title on Sunday if he does no more than finish the Rallye de France-Alsace.

Loeb, who will not compete next season for a title he has won since 2004, enjoys a 61-point lead over Citroen team mate Mikko Hirvonen of Finland with only three races remaining.

"Like the fans who turned out to support me, I was disappointed to retire last year, but that kind of thing is also part and parcel of racing," Loeb, who has won seven of the 10 races held this season, was quoted as saying on his team's official website.

"I feel that there is some sort of revenge to take. This year, we can secure both titles."

Victory to Loeb on Sunday would also give Citroen the manufacturers' title at the end of the race starting on Thursday in Strasbourg. They currently lead Ford by 111 points.

"I feel that there is some sort of revenge to take. This year, we can secure both titles"

Rally driver Sebastien Loeb

It will all happen very fast according to Loeb.

"The stages are among the quickest that we have ever completed. The constant changes in road surface make the tarmac difficult to read and the work of the gravel crews is essential given that the road can become very dirty between the two runs," he said.

Hirvonen has already conceded defeat and now has the manufacturers' title primarily in mind.

"To be honest, I'm not thinking about the drivers' title at all," he said on the team's website.

"Seb has been as strong as ever this year and he has such a big lead that I don't see how I can beat him in normal racing conditions.

"My goal is to continue to improve and score the points needed by Citroen to win the manufacturers' world championship."

Ford boss Malcolm Wilson said he was running out of words to describe how good Loeb was.

"But I don't want him to stop because it's always been my target to beat him," Wilson was quoted as saying on the World championships' official website.

"He's stopped (our team) probably winning eight titles so I want to beat him while he's still there competing."

393

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.