Loeb Claims Easy Win in Sardinia

World champion Sebastien Loeb has won the Rally of Italy by almost a minute on Sunday, allowing him to take the championship lead ahead of Petter Solberg

Loeb Claims Easy Win in Sardinia

Frenchman Loeb went into the race in Sardinia a point behind Norwegian Solberg but, after moving in front on Saturday, he comfortably defended his advantage in Sunday's third leg.

Subaru's Solberg finished second with Peugeot's Finnish driver Marcus Gronholm taking third place.

Loeb won Sunday's opening stage, the 12-kilometre San Giacomo, a narrow and tricky route which saw Mitsubishi's Italian driver Gigi Galli eliminated with a broken gearbox.

That win all but tied up victory for Citroen driver Loeb, and he was able to defend his advantage despite failing to win in any of the final four legs.

A determined Solberg won the Bortigiadas and San Bachisio legs but still went into the final stage, back at San Giacomo, trailing Loeb by one minute 21 seconds.

Despite the victory for the Norwegian as Loeb held back, there was never any chance for him to make up the huge time difference.

Rally Italia Sardinia - Final Results

Pos Driver/Co-Driver Team Time 1. Loeb/Elena Citroen Total 4:06:33.7 2. Solberg/Mills Subaru World Rally Team + 0:59.6 3. Gronholm/Rautiainen Marlboro Peugeot Total + 3:07.3 4. Martin/Park Marlboro Peugeot Total + 4:12.3 5. Gardemeister/Honkanen BP Ford World Rally Team + 8:29.3 6. Kresta/Mozny BP Ford World Rally Team + 9:29.2 7. Warmbold/Orr BP Ford World Rally Team + 9:59.8 8. Pykaelisto/Ovaskainen OMV Rally Team +10:21.2 9. Stohl/Minor Citroen Xsara WRC +10:35.6 10. Higgins/Agnew Eddie Stobart Motorsport +12:21.1 11. Duval/Prevot Citroen Total +13:29.8 12. Sarrazin/Giraudet Subaru World Rally Team +15:04.4 
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Loeb a Minute Ahead After 2 Days
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