Loeb takes WRC lead in Ireland
- 19th November 2007, 8:32am
The Frenchman incurred a 10-second penalty at the final service when an electrical problem caused him to check out late. Team-mate Dani Sordo finished 53.4sec behind his colleague.
Jari-Matti Latvala (Ford) claimed a career-best third, while Petter Solberg (Subaru) and private-entrant Guy Wilks (Subaru) completed the top six. Chris Atkinson (Subaru) failed to leave service this morning after engine problems.
Ford won the manufacturers' title in the FIA World Rally Championship for the second straight season with the Focus RS World Rally Car. Fourth place for BP-Ford World Rally Team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen in Rally Ireland was sufficient to ensure the crown with one round remaining in Great Britain.
Rally Ireland's championship debut proved every bit as challenging as was expected. The narrow, bumpy asphalt lanes were full of crests and dips and presented the kind of test not found on any other round of the series.
Rain during the opening two legs of the three-day event provided treacherous conditions as cars dragged mud onto the already shiny asphalt, and drivers likened the special stages to driving on ice.
Pos Driver Car Time
1. Loeb Citroen 3h01:39.2
2. Sordo Citroen + 53.4
3. Latvala Ford + 1:48.2
4. Hirvonen Ford + 2:17.7
5. P Solberg Subaru + 2:55.8
6. Wilks Subaru + 5:57.9
7. Wilson Ford + 10:04.9
8. G MacHale Ford + 11:08.3
9. Mikkelsen Ford + 13:08.2
10. McShea Subaru + 16:32.1
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