23 Jan 2012

Loeb wins in Monte Carlo

6:09 am on 23 January 2012

Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has started his hunt for a ninth successive world championship with a commanding victory in the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.

The Frenchman beat Spaniard Dani Sordo, in a Mini, by two minutes and 45 seconds to celebrate his sixth career victory in the most glamourous event on the calendar.

Sordo's podium was Mini's best result in Monte Carlo since Finland's Rauno Aaltonen won in 1967.

Norway's former world champion Petter Solberg, whose Finnish team mate Jari-Matti Latvala crashed out on day one, finished third on his return to the Ford team after an absence of more than 10 years.

Finland's Mikko Hirvonen, last year's overall runner-up with Ford, finished fourth on his Citroen debut.