[QODLink]
Sport
Loeb tightens his grip on Championship
Sebastien Loeb is on the cusp of his ninth world championship as spectators are injured at the Rally of France.
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2012 18:19
Two specatators were injured when Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah lost control of his Citroen during stage 10 [AP]

Barring major mishap Sebastien Loeb will claim his record ninth world drivers title on Sunday after the Citroen ace's grip on the Rally of France tightened further on Saturday.

The Frenchman was quickest in four of the day's special stages to extend his lead on Jari-Matti Latvala in a Ford Focus to 29sec on a day when two spectators were injured after a crash.

And crucially Loeb's cushion over teammate Mikko Hirvonen, placed second in the title standings and the only rival who can prolong the title battle beyond this weekend, is 54sec behind.

Loeb will be crowned the 2012 champion if either he finishes in front of Hirvonen on Sunday or if he finishes one place behind the Finn as long as Hirvonen does not win the rally and the Power Stage, or if Hirvonen fails to finish in the top eight.

Latvala's cause was not helped when his car skidded in the wet and went into a ditch during stage 10.

The spectators were injured after the Citroen driven by Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah went off the road during the same stage.

"The injured pair are suffering from fractures - one to an arm, the other a leg. They were brought to hospital by ambulance," said press spokeswoman Francoise Despierre.

The remainder of the 10th stage was cancelled and organisers also cancelled the 12th stage due to too many spectators vying to gain the best vantage points.

245

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
The seizure of the Tabqa airbase highlights the Islamic State's consolidation of power in eastern Syria, analysts say.
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
Parents unable to look after children are marrying them off at a tender age, exposing them to maternal deaths.
New measures needed as dozens of citizens fighting with Islamic State pose home-grown terror threat, PM Abbott says.
Israel has re-arrested dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank, an act a human rights group says is 'unjustified'.
join our mailing list