6 Dec 2008

Loeb keeps Citroen on course for second title

10:26 am on 6 December 2008

World driver's champion Sebastien Loeb has kept Citroen on course for the manufacturers' title after a first leg of the season-ending Wales Rally GB marred by cancellations and crashes.

Loeb is in second place after the day's eighth sprint stage, run in heavy rain and darkness, 12.9 seconds adrift of Ford's Finnish leader Jari-Matti Latvala.

The Frenchman has already won his fifth title in a row but his team need to score seven points to be sure of reclaiming the manufacturers' title from Ford.

Last year's winner in Wales, Ford's Mikko Hirvonen, is out of contention after rolling on the Sweet Lamb fifth stage and losing almost four minutes.

The Finn was able to start the next stage in his damaged car.