4 Aug 2008

Loeb wins in Finland to cut Hirvonen's lead to a point

11:53 am on 4 August 2008

The four-times world champion Sebastien Loeb has won his first Finnish Rally, finishing the three-day, 24-stage event with his Citroen nine seconds ahead of Finland's Mikko Hirvonen in a Ford.

It's the Frenchman's 42nd world championship victory and he's cut Hirvonen's lead in the world championship standings to one point.

Australia's Chris Atkinson was third, three minutes and eight seconds further back in his Subaru.

Loeb says he desperately wanted to win the high-speed gravel road event, which has historically been dominated by local drivers.

He's only the fourth non-Scandinavian to win the event since it was first run in 1951.