Motorsport News - Rally
Acropolis Rally victory for Loeb
27th May 2012
The Citroën Total World Rally Team crew of Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena escaped a late scare in the Acropolis Rally of Greece to claim victory in the sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship. Team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen finished second, 40 seconds behind, with Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila taking the final podium position.
In the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers, Loeb now has a 30 point lead over team-mate Hirvonen, and Mads Østberg moves ahead of both Petter Solberg and Latvala. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, maximum points for Citroën gives it a 73 point advantage over Ford.
Today’s route was the shortest and covered two identical loops of two stages, before the closing Power Stage, in which Loeb, Latvala and Hirvonen claimed an additional three, two and one point respectively. The day was set to provide a thrilling showdown between Loeb and Solberg, the rivals just 10.2 seconds adrift at the start of the day. In the opening stage, however, Solberg went off the road and ripped a wheel off, ending all his hopes of challenging for victory. Loeb’s team-mate therefore moved into second, albeit nearly two minutes adrift. In the following stage, Loeb faced his own problems; the Frenchman forced to stop to change a wheel and dropping over 90 seconds in the process. However, his advantage ensured he maintained the lead and the Citroën team-mates were able to ease the pace to the finish in one-two formation. Latvala ran without problem on his come-back rally to take third. Mads Østberg claimed fourth, despite a spin, Martin Prokop fifth and Thierry Neuville had a trouble-free run to sixth. Sébastien Ogier was the lead Volkswagen Motorsport driver in seventh overall, his team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen forced to retire with damaged suspension.
The FIA World Rally Championship crews now head to the Southern Hemisphere for Brother Rally New Zealand (21-24 June).
Acropolis Rally – Provisional Final Results (subject to final scrutineering)
1. Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena
2. Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen
3. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila
4. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson
5. Martin Prokop/ Zdeněk Hrůza
6. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul
7. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia
8. Yazeed Al Rajhi/Michael Orr
9. Ott Tänak/Kuldar Sikk
10. Abdulaziz Alkuwari/Nicola Arena Citroën DS3 WRC
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