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2012-09-17 07:54

KING OF WELSH GRAVEL: Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala on his way to victory in the Wales Rally of GB on the weekend.

Alan Baldwin

CARDIFF, Wales - Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala won the Rally of Britain for Ford on Sunday September 16, 2012, while Citroen's Sebastien Loeb moved closer to a ninth successive world title after winning a knife-edge battle for second place.

Latvala's victory, his second in succession in Britain and first for seven months, ended a run of five-in-a-row by Frenchman Loeb dating back to Argentina in April.

Norwegian Petter Solberg was third for Ford, ahead of compatriot Mads Ostberg.


With three rounds remaining, Loeb has 219 points to Citroen team mate Mikko Hirvonen's 158 and the champion looks likely to wrap up his defence of the title on home asphalt in France next month.

Hirvonen, fifth on Sunday but winner of the closing power stage for three bonus points, is now the only man who can deny Loeb mathematically and the chances of him ruining the French party are remote.

Latvala, whose last win was in Sweden in April, again dominated on the slippery Welsh forest mud and gravel tracks and had led since Friday's third stage. He won by 27.8 seconds.

Latvala said: "This win means a lot to me. Rally GB is like a second home event because I started my career here 10 years ago and I have more experience of this event than my own rally in Finland.

"We had some doubts about our speed after the previous gravel rally but we came back strongly," added the 27-year-old.

"The car has been so fast all season but we've had too many disappointments and finally we delivered the result we deserved."

Loeb had a harder time to clinch second place after battling Solberg all the way to the finish, beating the Norwegian by 0.9 seconds after 325km and 19 stages.

Results from Sunday, the final day of the Rally of Great Britain, the 10th of 13 legs of the World Rally championship

1 Jari-Matti Latvala/Mikka Anttila (Ford Fiesta RS) 3hr03min40.3sec
2 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroën DS3) +27.8
3 Petter Solberg/Chris Patterson (Ford Fiesta RS) +28.7
4 Mads Ostberg/Jonas Andersson (Ford Fiesta RS) +1min10.6
5 Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Citroen DS3) +1min29.5
6 Evgeny Novikov/Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta RS) +3min37.0
7 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gisoul (Citroen DS3) +4min11.9
8 Matthew Wilson/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta RS) +6min00.4
9 Martin Prokop/Zdenek Hruza (Ford Fiesta) +6min58.9
10 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Giovanni Bernacchini (Citröen DS3) +9min32.1

Special-stage winners
Solberg (1,2,10,12)
Latvala (3,4,5,6,9,11,13)
Ostberg (7)
Loeb (8,18)
Hirvonen (19)

World championship points
1 Sebastien Loeb (FRA) 219
2 Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) 158
3 Petter Solberg (NOR) 119
4 Mads Ostberg (NOR) 114
5 Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) 113
6 Evgeny Novikov (RUS) 63
7 Martin Prokop (CZE) 40
8 Thierry Neuville (BEL) 38
9 Sebastien Ogier (FRA) 31
10 Dani Sordo (ESP) 31
11 Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) 28
12 Ott Tanak (EST) 26
13 Armindo Araujo (POR) 11
14 Christopher Atkinson (GBR) 10
15 François Delecour (FRA) 8

1 Citroen Racing 348
2 Ford Motorsport 237
3 M-Sport (Ford) 125
4 Qatar WRT (Citroen) 65
5 Citroen Junior Team 62

Read more on:    sebastien loeb  |  jari-matti latvala  |  wales  |  wrc

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