Loeb creates rally history
Sebastien Loeb has broken the record for the most wins in the World Rally Championship by taking the Rally of Japan by just 5.6 seconds from Marcus Gronholm.
Loeb led by 25 seconds going into the final day, but the Ford driver mounted a brilliant last day charge, but ran out of stages to win back the lead he lost with two spins during Leg 2.
Mikko Hirvonen took third in his Focus, while Australian Chris Atkinson secured his best result of the year with fourth place, over five and a half minutes clear of team leader Petter Solberg.
“It’s been a tough weekend for everyone, to get to the finish and give the fans something. Today we had a clean run with no major problems as all I had to do was cruise through the day and take a bit more time off Manfred," Atkinson said. "The result is the best we could have hoped for coming into the rally. For sure we are driving better than ever and certainly more consistently, getting mostly top five stage times.”
Fellow Australian, Dean Herridge, finished the event in 16th outright, and 6th in Group N in a Subaru Rally Team Japan Impreza WRX.
Pos Driver Make Time
1. Loeb Citroen 3h 22:20.4
2. Gronholm Ford + 5.6
3. Hirvonen Ford + 2:46.5
4. Atkinson Subaru + 6:07.8
5. Stohl Peugeot + 7:10.7
6. Arai Subaru + 9:05.1
7. Sordo Citroen + 9:06.3
8. P Solberg Subaru + 11:47.7
9. Nutahara Mitsubishi + 22:57.4
10. Pozzo Mitsubishi + 23:24.8