World Rally Championship

Sebastien Loeb retires in head-on collision after winning eighth title

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    Keith Collantine

    A somewhat anticlimactic end to the World Rally Championship: Sebastien Loeb automatically won the title when Mikko Hirvonen crashed out.

    Then Loeb retired in a bizarre incident that could have had disastrous consequences after he hit another car head-on:

    “We were on a road section and hit a car front on,” said the Citroen DS3 WRC driver. “I moved to the side [of the road] but we are in [Wales] and he is not [Welsh] so he went on the wrong side and we crashed. It was not a big impact but the radiator is holed, so we cannot go on. That’s it. But okay, we are world champion so no problems.”

    The vehicle Loeb was in collision with was a hire car belonging to two Spanish fans heading to the stage finish to support their hero Dani Sordo. The incident happened after a crest on a narrow section of road. There were no injures to any of the occupants.



    how the …. did a tourist manage to get onto the stage? Organisers need a kicking there.



    @hairs It was on a road section between stages, so was on a public road which would have been open to all traffic.

    If I’m not mistaken I don’t think this is the first time this sort of thing had happened to Loeb. Didn’t something similar happen at Rally Jordan a couple of years ago? Regardless, I’m happy to see Latvala finally get a win this season.



    It would never occur to me that letting the rally drivers saunter out onto a public road on their own to get to the next stage would be a good idea. Mental.



    @hairs I don’t like the way that they have to do that, but otherwise there would just be one long stage or the local police would have to close even more roads – which would cause even more chaos. It’s the lesser of two evils, and I think that it’s only happened this time because the second car involved wasn’t familiar with British driving. At least it didn’t affect the championship result.



    That’s what rally is about though- road legal cars driving between stages rather than getting transported there like high-tech invalids.



    @hairs you can hardly blame Loeb if the Spanish guys were driving on the wrong side of the road, they’re the ones that shouldn’t have been there -_-



    A friend of mine on Facebook posted “He crashed, but Seb is still world champion”. I wasn’t sure if she was talking about F1 or WRC!

    Hirvonen’s had some bad luck this year, and he came so close to ending Loeb’s run of titles. I really hope he can win a championship somewhere along the line. And that was Latvala’s first win since last year’s Rally of Finland, I believe, so good on him.

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