Loeb takes eighth Rally Argentina
Updated: Monday, 06 May 2013 09:09
Sebastien Loeb claimed the eighth Rally Argentina victory of his career to end fellow Frenchman Sebastien Ogier's winning streak.
Ogier came into the fifth round of the World Rally Championship season on the back of the three consecutive victories but Loeb again showed his class to notch his second triumph of the campaign, having also tasted success in Monte Carlo.
The nine-time reigning world champion finished 55 seconds ahead of Ogier to earn the 78th win of a remarkable career.
The 39-year-old Loeb is planning to take part in only four rallies this season so this was likely to be his final gravel event in the WRC, and he admitted it was an emotional victory.
Loeb said on www.wrc.com: "It's great emotion to win here. It was a tough rally with complicated stages, but there was a great atmosphere and it was great to feel that all weekend.
"After so many months since my last gravel rally it was difficult to find the feeling in the first stage and to get the car working for me, but it was the perfect drive."
The Citroen DS3 driver's last WRC appearance is scheduled for home soil in France in October, and his limited participation this season means there will be a new world champion for the first time in a decade.
Ogier is in pole position for that honour at present and he was pleased with his second place in Argentina.
"It's a good result for us," said Ogier, whose 122-point haul is 54 more than nearest challenger Loeb.
"We had a lot of problems this weekend but we're happy to be at the end. We're still in a learning year and at the moment, after five events, it's going well so I want to thank the team for all the work they've done."
Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala won all four of today's stages to finished third ahead of Evgeny Novikov in fourth.
Thierry Neuville, Mikko Hirvonen, Mads Ostberg, Andreas Mikkelsen, Dani Sordo and Martin Prokop completed the top 10.