Sebastien Loeb led from flag to flag in his Citroen C4 WRC to notch up his 50th World Rally Championship win.
Entering the final day with a 49 second lead, Loeb couldn't afford to ease up as Mikko Hirvonen was quickly making up for his slow first day times.
"I wasn't getting Mikko Hirvonen's split times, so I had to push quite hard to make sure he didn't get too close," related the five-time World Champion. "There was a lot of mud about, but we survived unscathed.
The final stage didn't generate any last-minute drama for Loeb, allowing him to go three for three to start the WRC Season.
"To have reached our half-century is nice, but it's just another statistic. To tell the truth, my thoughts are already turned to our 51st win! This rally went well for us from start to finish. Our C4 WRC handled perfectly, both on the loose and on asphalt," said Loeb.
Loeb’s Citroen teammate, Dani Sordo was knocked out of third place by Petter Solberg: "I stalled in a hairpin and dropped about 10 seconds. After that, I thought it was preferable to make sure we scored Manufacturers' points for Citroen. The fact that Petter was ahead of us changed nothing on that front."
Pos No. Class Driver Nat Car Time Gap To First Penalty
1. 1 A8 Sebastien Loeb F Citroen C4 4:50:34.7
2. 3 A8 Mikko Hirvonen FIN Ford FOCUS 4:51:01.9 27.2 27.2
3. 11 A8 Petter Solberg N Citroen XSARA 4:52:24.1 1:22.2 1:49.4
4. 2 A8 Dani Sordo E Citroen C4 4:53:01.0 36.9 2:26.3
5. 5 A8 Matthew Wilson GB Ford FOCUS 4:57:15.7 4:14.7 6:41.0
6. 8 A8 Conrad Rautenbach ZW Citroen C4 5:01:46.6 4:30.9 11:11.9
7. 9 A8 Federico Villagra ARG Ford FOCUS 5:03:53.2 2:06.6 13:18.5
8. 14 A8 Khalid Al Qassimi UAE Ford FOCUS 5:04:18.8 25.6 13:44.1
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!