Loeb admits title is close

With six rounds remaining in the World Rally Championship, points leader Sebastien Loeb of Citroen has admitted that his Rallye Deutschland victory has moved him to within touching distance of a first title. Loeb has already scored more points than reigning champion Petter Solberg managed last year

Loeb admits title is close

The French star has a 29-point lead over Ford's Markko Martin, who finished fourth in Germany on Sunday. Loeb's Citroen team-mate Carlos Sainz finished third, and has been promoted to third in the standings ahead of Subaru's Solberg, who crashed out heavily on Saturday - his third DNF in a row this season.

"The win is very important for the title, and having a 29-point lead over Martin is very important at this point in the season," said Loeb. "Victory here in Germany was especially nice, as it's my third time winning this event, and it's very close to my home town. Because of the adverse conditions on the first two days, it has been a very difficult rally, so I'm very pleased to have finished on top."

Citroen team boss Guy Frequelin denied that the title is a done deal, however. Although two of the remaining six events are on asphalt - on which Citroen and Loeb tend to excel more than any other - he points out that 40 points can still be won on the gravel rallies, which include a new event in Japan in a fortnight's time.

"It's too early to say the title is ours," said Frequelin. "There are still six rallies to go. For sure, we're in a good position, but in a mechanical sport it is difficult to say. You can easily encounter problems. We have to remain constant and be careful."

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