No Loeb so Hirvonen wins Italy

2012-10-21 18:05

OSTIA, Sardinia - Finland's Mikko Hirvonen won the 2012 Rally of Italy on Sunday in the absence of Citroen team mate and nine-times World champion Sebastien Loeb.

Frenchman Loeb hit rocks and retired on Friday on the first full day of the rally in Sardinia, the penultimate round of the 2012 championship and first event since he retained his title in France earlier in October.

Russian Evgeny Novikov was second, 1min20 behind, with Estonian Ott Tanak third, each in a private-team Ford.


The victory was Hirvonen's first for Citroen, the 15th of his career, and secured him second place overall in the standings. Loeb has an unassailable 244 points, Hirvonen 198.

"It feels a bit like I've won my very first rally," said the Finn, who will be Citroen's main works driver in 2013 with Loeb not intending to defend the title.

"Maybe it wasn't such a big fight but there will be more in future."

Ford works drivers Petter Solberg and Jari-Matti Latvala finished ninth and 12th respectively after also crashing out on Friday but restarting with time penalties.

They collected bonus points for first and second in the closing Power Stage.

The final round of the 2012 season will be in Spain over November 8/11.

Result from the 2012 Rally of Italy

1 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Citroen 3hr23min54.900
2 Evgeny Novikov (Russia) Ford +01min20.6
3 Ott Taenak (Estonia) Ford +02min21.1
4 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Ford +03min42.9
5 Sebastien Ogier (France) Skoda +04min27.5
6 Chris Atkinson (Australia) Mini +05min22.2
7 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Skoda +06min12.5
8 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Ford +09min29.3
9 Petter Solberg (Norway) Ford +09min52.3
10 Luca Pedersoli (Italy) Citroen +20min35.6

Drivers’ and Constructor’ points after Rally of Italy

1 Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen Total World Rally Team - 244
2 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Citroen Total World Rally Team - 198
3 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Mads Ostberg - 137
4 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Ford World Rally Team - 133
5 Petter Solberg (Norway) Ford World Rally Team - 124
6 Evgeny Novikov (Russia) M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - 87
7 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Citroen Junior World Rally Team - 53
8 Ott Taenak (Estonia) M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - 52
9 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Czech Ford Rally Team - 46
10 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen Motorsport - 41
11 Daniel Sordo (Spain) Mini WRC Team - 31
12 Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) Qatar World Rally Team - 28
13 Chris Atkinson (Australia) WRC Team Mini Portugal - 22
14 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen Motorsport - 13
15 Armindo Araujo (Portugal) Armindo Araujo WRT - 11
16 Francois Delecour (France) M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - 8
17 Dennis Kuipers (Netherlands) M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - 8
18 Pierre Campana (France) Mini WRC Team - 6
19 Henning Solberg (Norway) Henning Solberg - 6
20 Matti Rantanen (Finland) Matti Rantanen - 6
1 Citroen Total World Rally Team - 413
2 Ford World Rally Team - 281
3 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - 170
4 Citroen Junior World Rally Team - 72
5 Qatar World Rally Team - 71
6 Adapta World Rally Team - 71
7 Mini WRC Team - 26
8 Brazil World Rally Team - 20