Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb has won the Rally of Turkey to take his third win in succession and strengthen his position in the race for the 2010 WRC drivers’ title. Sebastien Loeb of France took the lead on day two of the Turkish Rally by winning three of Saturday’s eight stages. Loeb rose from fifth place to finish the day in his Citroen 16.2 seconds ahead of Norway’s Petter Solberg. Mikko Hirvonen of Finland was a further 1.1 seconds back in third.
Loeb hit the front in the sixth stage when the Citroen of first-day leader Sebastien Ogier of France blew a tire. Loeb won the Jordan Rally earlier this month. Dani Sordo of Spain, Ogier and former Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen were next Saturday.
Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland hit a bank and crashed his Ford Focus into a ditch during the first level, Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency said. “We could not get out of the car because the roof and the door were smashed in, but the spectators helped us get the car back on track,” Anatolia quoted Latvala as saying. The accident cost the two-time World Rally Championships winner nine minutes to drop to 12th position from sixth.
The Rally of Turkey, the fourth event of the FIA World Rally Championship, ends Sunday. Turkey returned to the WRC calendar after a year’s absence but the event was moved to Istanbul after having previously been staged on the mountainous tracks near the country’s Mediterranean coast.
The fifth round will be held in New Zealand next month.
Overall standings after Stage 23 / Day 3 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC 3hours 01mins 38.7secs M
2. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen C4 WRC +00mins 54.5secs A8
3. Mikko Hirvonen BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC +01mins 43.4secs M
4. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC +03mins 46.0secs M
5. Kimi Raikkonen Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC +06mins 44.3secs M
6. Federico Villagra Munchi’s Ford Focus WRC +07mins 56.7secs M
7. Matthew Wilson Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC +08mins 29.8secs M
8. Jari-Matti Latvala BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC +19mins 44.2secs M
9. Dennis Kuipers Ford Fiesta S2000 +23mins 22.2secs N4
10. Aaron Burkart Suzuki Swift S1600 +27mins 04.7secs J
JWRC Standings after Stage 23 / Day 3 (Top 3):
1. Aaron Burkart Suzuki Swift S1600 3hours 28mins 43.4secs J
2. Alessandro Broccoli Renault Clio R3 +03mins 53.7secs J
3. Kevin Abbring Renault Clio R3 +09mins 43.7secs J