25 Oct 2009

Loeb closes in on sixth World Rally title

1:47 pm on 25 October 2009

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb is heading for a record sixth successive world rally championship after ending the penultimate day of the second leg of the title-deciding British round with a lead of more than half a minute.

The Frenchman, who will retain his crown if he finishes in the points and ahead of Ford's Mikko Hirvonen, has a 30.2 second advantage over the second-placed Finn.

Hirvonen had cut Loeb's lead to just 2.9 seconds after a wet and muddy opening stage of the day in South Wales but was powerless to prevent his rival roaring ahead after that.

With just four stages remaining, Loeb looks in complete control, while Hirvonen will have to go flat out and take plenty of risks.

The Finn, chasing his first world title, had a one-point lead in the championship ahead of the season-ending race but Loeb has more victories to his credit.