For the sixth year in a row, Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena and Citroën were given a standing ovation by the crowd at the finish ceremony in front of the celebrated Porta Nigra gate in Trier. Yet again, the ancient Roman city turned out to be happy hunting ground for the French manufacturer which notched up its seventh Rallye Deutschland win this weekend, while Seb and Daniel took their score of world class successes to 33.
The final day’s programme featured just 63km of against-the-clock action, yet the Mosel Valley vineyards and the high kerbs and guardrails of the Trier super-special called for extreme caution.
Sebastien’s 33rd world class win has a special taste for the Frenchman: "It’s always nice to win this event. It is based close to my home region of Alsace and it’s the event that gave me my first WRC win in 2002, so it is something very special. I am delighted to have won again. Apart from our poor tyre choice for Friday afternoon’s stages, everything went well and, as ever, my Citroën was remarkably competitive. We have closed the gap to our main rival in the championship by five points and everything is still wide open, although the fight ahead promises to be very fierce."
Final leaderboard on 6th Rally Deutschland:
1. S. Loeb/D. Elena (Citroën C4) 3 h 27 min 27,5s 2. F. Duval/P. Pivato (Citroën Xsara) + 20,3 s 3. M. Hirvonen/J. Lehtinen (Ford Focus) + 1 min 19,1 s 4. M. Grönholm/T. Rautiainen (Ford Focus) + 1 min 36,5 s 5. J. Kopecký/F. Schovánek (Skoda Fabia) + 3 min 07,1 s 6. P. Solberg/P. Mills (Subaru Impreza) + 3 min 14,7 s 7. T. Gardemeister/J. Honkanen (Citroën Xsara) + 3 min 37,5 s 8. JM. Latvala/M. Anttila (Ford Focus ) + 5 min 29,3 s 9. M. Wilson/M. Orr (Ford Focus) + 11 min 04,2 s 10. G. Wilks/P. Pugh (Ford Focus) + 19 min 47,8 s