24 Oct 2011

Loeb wins in Spain, Paddon third despite electrical fault

12:29 pm on 24 October 2011

The French driver Sebastien Loeb has won the Rally of Spain to move eight points clear of closest championship rival Mikko Hirvonen with one race of the season remaining.

Bidding for an eighth consecutive world title, the Citroen driver wrapped up his seventh straight Spanish win after dominating the three-day event, helping Citroen take the overall manufacturers' title for a seventh time.

Finnish Ford driver Hirvonen was second, more than two minutes behind, with his team mate and compatriot Jari-Matti Latvala third, a further half a minute down.

With only the British Rally left in the 13-race season, Loeb has 222 points, with Hirvonen on 214.

New Zealand driver Hayden Paddon finished third at the Production World Rally Championship division.

While Paddon couldn't contest the first day of the three-day event because of an electrical fault with his Subaru, he won nine of the 12 remaining stages over the next two days.