Solberg and Loeb close in on title fight

Following a thrilling Rally Australia, a four-way battle for the World Rally Championship is brewing, with Petter Solberg's and Sebastien Loeb's storming drives to claim first and second Down Under pitching them firmly into the hunt. With four rounds to go, just 10 points cover the leading quartet in the standings

Solberg and Loeb close in on title fight

Richard Burns continues to lead the championship with 55 points, having finished third in Australia for Peugeot. Subaru's Solberg has moved into a tie for second with Carlos Sainz (Citroen) on 48 points, with Citroen's Loeb narrowly behind on 45. Marcus Gronholm (Peugeot) and Markko Martin (Ford) can both still win the title, but with 38 and 37 points respectively will need some luck to move into contention.

"We're in a good situation for the championship but Petter and Sebastien drove very well here," said Burns, who has yet to win a rally this year. "I'm sure they will be a big threat on the last four rounds as well."

A major factor in deciding who will claim the crown comes from the fact that three of the final four events will take place on sealed roads. Of the championship contenders, Loeb has the best pedigree on asphalt, having already taken one victory this year on the surface, in Germany.

"The car is very fast on tarmac," said Loeb, "and me too, I hope. We will see."

The battle for the manufacturers' crown is even closer, with Peugeot and Citroen now tied on 110 points, and sharing the same number of victories and second-place finishes. Peugeot currently leads the championship - by virtue of its cars having finished third more times.

shares
comments
Rally Australia: Solberg storms past Loeb

Previous article

Rally Australia: Solberg storms past Loeb

Next article

Two-car team ruling approved by FIA

Two-car team ruling approved by FIA
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021