No Surprise: Loeb Wins in Turkey

World Champion Sebastien Loeb won the Rally of Turkey on Sunday, securing his fourth consecutive win in the 2005 Championship

No Surprise: Loeb Wins in Turkey

The French Citroen driver extended his lead in this year's Championship by finishing just under a minute ahead of his nearest rival, Subaru's Petter Solberg, after the final leg of the rally in the Taurus mountains near the Mediterranean resort of Antalya.

After seven rallies this season, Loeb leads the Championship with 55 points, ahead of Solberg on 42 points and Estonian Markko Martin on 38 points. Peugeot are top of the manufacturers' standings with 72 points, ahead of Citroen on 68.

"I'm very proud of the team," Loeb said after his victory. "This was a fantastic job. It just goes to prove the solidity of the work that we've all been doing. I didn't feel especially threatened and this is what you achieve when you have the whole team working together."

The focus of attention on the final day was the battle for second place between Solberg and Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm, who won the final stage, two seconds ahead of Solberg.

Norway's Solberg held on to second place by 15.7 seconds ahead of the Finn, who had pulled out of the previous rally in Cyprus.

Loeb's lead over Solberg was trimmed in the final stage to 59.6 seconds but he repeated his 2004 victory in Turkey and has now won five of the season's seven rounds. Solberg has won the other two.

It was the first time that a driver has won four consecutive World Championship rallies since Timo Salonen won the title in 1985.

The next race will be the Acropolis Rally in Greece on June 24-26.

The top three competitors were well ahead of the rest of the pack, with Spain's former Champion Carlos Sainz back in fourth and 3:02.6 adrift of Gronholm.

Sainz, winner in Turkey two years ago, came out of retirement for what he said would be a one-off appearance in the Rally of Turkey with Citroen as a replacement for crash-prone Belgian Francois Duval.

Sainz hinted on Sunday that he might appear again, however.

"My idea was to come back for one rally only and this is still my idea, but in the future you cannot say that it is impossible," he said.

The 43-year-old Sainz ended the rally 1:39.3 ahead of Peugeot's fifth-placed Martin.

Rally of Turkey - Top 10 Results:

Pos  Driver              Make                    Time
 1.  Sebastien Loeb      Citroen Xsara WRC       4h21:48.0
 2.  Petter Solberg      Subaru Impreza WRC 05   +    59.6
 3.  Marcus Gronholm     Peugeot 307 WRC         +  1:15.3
 4.  Carlos Sainz        Citroen Xsara WRC       +  4:17.9
 5.  Markko Martin       Peugeot 307 WRC         +  5:57.2
 6.  Toni Gardemeister   Ford Focus RS WRC 04    +  8:07.3
 7.  Roman Kresta        Ford Focus RS WRC 04    +  8:48.3
 8.  Gigi Galli          Mitsubishi Lancer WR05  +  9:38.9
 9.  Antony Warmbold     Ford Focus RS WRC 04    + 11:26.7
10.  Harri Rovanpera     Mitsubishi Lancer WR05  + 13:51.4
shares
comments
Battle for Second Behind Loeb
Previous article

Battle for Second Behind Loeb

Next article

Sainz Agrees to Compete in Greece

Sainz Agrees to Compete in Greece
How Toyota transformed an F1 hopeful into a factory WRC driver Plus

How Toyota transformed an F1 hopeful into a factory WRC driver

Having originally started out in karting and single-seaters to follow his dream of making it to Formula 1, Takamoto Katsuta's career instead changed course into the world of rallying. A breakthrough 2022 WRC season has lifted Katsuta into Toyota's factory line-up - but it's been a long road to the top level

WRC
7 h
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022

The World Rally Championship welcomed in a new hybrid era in 2022, presenting an unknown challenge to the planet's top rally aces. New records were broken, as Toyota's leading charge became the youngest-ever title-winner, while familiar returning faces mixed it up with the new generation. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the year

WRC
Dec 5, 2022
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Plus

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022