Loeb happy to extend lead

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has admitted he is relieved to have extended his points lead over rival Petter Solberg (Subaru) in the championship standings after coming home fourth in last weekend's Rally of Finland

Loeb happy to extend lead

The Frenchman had a poor start to the rally and was well down the order after the first leg on Friday. He gradually clawed his way back up knowing that he had to collect as many points as he could after Solberg retired from the event early on the first day.

After a weekend that was made more difficult with an uncomfortable pain in his neck, Loeb finally settled for fourth spot and five championship points so that he now leads Solberg by 22 points.

"We are fourth, and we are happy for it to end like this," he said. "I didn't drive very fast in the final stage, the gap to [third-placed team-mate] Carlos [Sainz] was too big. I've had a pain in the neck from a landing on one of the big jumps, and I'm happy to have kept Tuohino behind us. The experience I've gained this year should help me to fight for a podium finish next year."

Rally Argentina winner Sainz was also delighted to end Rally Finland on the podium, confirming his South American victory was no flash in the pan.

"To get a podium finish is always good, especially here in Finland," the Spaniard remarked. "We made some changes to the car, and the it became very good, and it's now very strong."

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