Sebastien Loeb takes comfortable win in Acropolis Rally

Sebastien Loeb extended his World Rally Championship lead to 31 points as he clinched his fourth win from this year's six rallies in Greece

Sebastien Loeb takes comfortable win in Acropolis Rally

Loeb's third Acropolis Rally victory was not an easy one, as he had to overcome both a late puncture and stern challenges from both Ford drivers to secure the win, taking the power stage bonus points as well.

Jari-Matti Latvala led early on, before losing time with an overshoot and handling issues. The Finn, returning to the series after missing Argentina with a broken collarbone, charged back to get within a second of Loeb again, only for a mistake on Saturday to cause a puncture and brake damage, leaving him four minutes off the lead by the end of the day. Latvala eventually finished third.

In the other works Ford, Petter Solberg initially lost ground with a tyre choice error, had a scare when he damaged the underside of his car, and then began carving back into Loeb's lead only to crash out on Sunday's first stage.

All of that left Loeb two minutes clear of Citroen team-mate Mikko Hirvonen, a sufficient margin to hold the lead even when he had to stop and change a punctured tyre with three stages to go.

Hirvonen had dropped a bit of time to a puncture on Friday, but also lacked the pace to stay with the other frontrunners, so was pleased to complete a Citroen one-two ahead of Latvala.

Amid heavy attrition in the rest of the WRC field, Mads Ostberg (Adapta Ford) recovered from a trip off the road on Friday to come back to fourth, ahead of the consistent Martin Prokop's Czech Ford.

Thierry Neuville succeeded in getting through a weekend without using Rally 2, but did lose several minutes with a broken driveshaft on Friday, leaving him a distant sixth for Citroen Junior.

Results after SS22: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 4h42m03.3s 2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 40.0s 3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 3m04.8s 4. Mads Ostberg Adapta Ford + 6m16.4s 5. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 7m46.5s 6. Thierry Neuville Citroen Junior + 9m41.4s 7. Sebastien Ogier VW Skoda + 12m59.9s 8. Yazeed Al Rahji Yazeed Ford + 20m12.2s 9. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 23m18.9s 10. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Seashore Mini + 28m40.5s Other WRC finishers: 11. Armindo Araujo Portugal Mini + 30m28.6s 12. Spyros Pavlides Autotek Ford + 33m51.6s 17. Paulo Nobre Portugal Mini + 59m10.2s 18. Oleksii Tamrazov Ford + 1h04m53.4s WRC retirements: Petter Solberg Ford SS18 Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford SS18 Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar Citroen SS18 Daniel Oliveira Brazil Ford SS18 Leading power stage times: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 2m21.8s 2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 0.6s 3. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 1.3s 4. Mads Ostberg Adapta Ford + 2.0s 5. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 2.0s 
shares
comments
Sebastien Loeb keeps Acropolis Rally lead despite puncture
Previous article

Sebastien Loeb keeps Acropolis Rally lead despite puncture

Next article

Missed victory chance hurts 'like hell'

Missed victory chance hurts 'like hell'
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Plus

How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Plus

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Autosport went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Plus

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead Plus

How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead

Although the Rally Portugal entry list featured World Rally Championship royalty in Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier, victory was secured by rallying's rising star in Kalle Rovanpera. Here's the story of his 2022 hat-trick, as his key rivals faltered among the gravel and asphalt ahead of them

WRC
May 23, 2022