Loeb takes Rally Norway

loeb2008Frenchman Sebastien Loeb is enjoying the perfect start to the new World Rally Championship campaign by making it two out of two after winning Rally Norway over the weekend. Loeb, who races for Citroen, had to fight hard to keep Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen at bay but was able to fend off the Ford driver to win the race.

CNN reported that the victory is all the more impressive because Loeb effectively served as the road sweeper, mowing down the snowy roads as the first man out on those legs of the rally. This should have helped his competition with their lap times, but Loeb went into the final day with a healthy 15-second lead over Finland’s Hirvonen.

Hirvonen did his best to shave seconds off each of the final day’s six stages, but in the end Loeb kept his cool and emerged victorious with a 9.8 second advantage. Winning Rally Norway marks the 49th WRC victory for the five-time world champion.

Loeb wasn’t entirely confident coming into the Scandinavian event since he was well aware of Ford’s reputation on snowy and icy roads. The last time the rally was held in Norway, in 2007, Ford swept the entire podium, so the victory this time around was all the more delightful for Loeb.

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