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
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021