Lucky seven for champion Loeb

Frenchman wins seventh consecutive world rally championship with win on home soil in Alsace for Citroen.

    Loeb's seven championship wins have come in consecutive years to give the Frenchman total dominance [AFP]

    Sebastien Loeb claimed an unprecedented seventh consecutive world rally championship as he won his home round in Alsace.
     
    The Citroen driver took charge over the first two days in slippery conditions and, on a sunny Sunday in eastern France, the Frenchman drove cautiously to take his 60th rally win.

    The result was never in doubt after his closest rival for the title, Sebastien Ogier, crashed out in the third official Citroen C4 on Saturday, leaving the 36-year old Loeb needing only to finish to claim the crown.

    "It's incredible to win here," Loeb said after coming seventh in the last stage of the rally.

    "I didn't expect so many people here, but to win here is a great feeling."

    Driving through his home town streets early in the day, Loeb ended 36 seconds ahead of Spanish team mate Daniel Sordo after Sunday's four stages ended in Strasbourg.

    The win gave Loeb the world title with two rallies left.

    Far behind

    Fellow Citroen driver, Norwegian Petter Solberg held off the Ford of Finn Jari Matti Latvala for third place more than a minute behind Loeb.

    Solberg and Sordo won the first two stages of the day, while rally organisers cancelled the penultimate stage fearing spectator safety as about 40,000 people lined up to get a glimpse of their local favourite.

    "He is incredible...he never makes mistakes," said Solberg.

    Known as the Michael Schumacher of rallying because he dominates the sport in the same way as the seven-times Formula One world champion once did, Loeb has been racing since 1999.

    He has been driving alongside his co-driver Daniel Elena since 2004.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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