Loeb Avoids Winning the Rally GB
|By Reuters||Sunday, September 18th 2005, 14:06 GMT|
Norwegian Petter Solberg won the Rally of Britain on Sunday after Citroen's Sebastien Loeb took deliberate time penalties to ensure he did not win the Championship in the wake of a fatal crash.
Briton Michael Park, co-driver for Estonian Markko Martin at the Peugeot team, died during Sunday's 15th stage and the French manufacturer withdrew their other car driven by Finland's Marcus Gronholm.
Gronholm was Loeb's closest title rival and the Frenchman, leading the rally since Friday by a comfortable margin, would have been Champion had he won in Wales.
Organisers said the Frenchman did not want to win in such circumstances and finished third, behind Belgian team mate Francois Duval.
It was Solberg's fourth British win in a row for Subaru but he will not consider it a victory.
There were no celebrations and the drivers and crowd held a minute's silence when the leading cars arrived at the finish in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
Final leaderboard results:
Pos Driver Make Time 1. Solberg Subaru 2h 45:57.8 2. Duval Citroen + 1:17.4 3. Loeb Citroen + 1:17.9 (including 2-minute penalty) 4. Rovanpera Mitsubishi + 1:29.4 5. Stohl Citreen + 2:35.0 6. Kresta Ford + 3:17.3 7. Mcrae Skoda + 3:30.4 8. Higgins Ford + 3:40.9 9. Meeke Subaru + 3:42.1 10. Solberg Ford + 4:20.5 11. Pons Citroen + 5:19.3 12. Warmbold Ford + 5:28.8 13. Schwarz Skoda + 9:13.4 14. Galli Mitsubishi + 9:40.9 15. Wilson Ford + 14:35.3