Loeb wins Portugal Rally

FARO, Portugal — Sebastien Loeb won the Portugal Rally on Sunday to extend his championship lead and maintain his perfect start to the season.

Loeb won two of Sunday’s five stages to beat Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen by 24.3 seconds. The Citroen driver earned his 51st career win after taking the 18-stage race with an overall winning time of 3 hours, 53 minutes, 13.1 seconds.

It was the Frenchman’s fourth straight win since the start of the season, giving him 40 points and a 10-point lead over Hirvonen.

Citroen’s Dani Sordo finished third, 1:45.40 back, and remains third in the standings with 23 points. Petter Solberg of Citroen and Ford’s Henning Solberg rounded out the top-five.

Sunday at Faro, Portugal

1. Sebastien Loeb, France, Citroen, 3 hours, 53 minutes, 13.1 seconds.

2. Mikko Hirvonen, Finland, Ford, 24.3 seconds behind.

3. Dani Sordo, Spain, Citroen, 1:45.4.

4. Petter Solberg, Norway, Citroen, 2:44.6.

5. Henning Solberg, Norway, Ford, 5:46.3.

6. Mads Ostberg, Norway, Subaru, 6:20.8.

7. Federico Villagra, Argentina, Ford, 12:59.5.

8. Khalid Al Qassimi, United Arab Emirates, Ford, 18:21.7.

9. Armindo Araujo, Portugal, Mitsibushi, 22:18.5.

10. Martin Prokop, Czech Republic, Citroen, 23:25.6.<

Overall Standings (After four of 12 races)

1. Sebastien Loeb, France, Citroen, 40 points.

2. Mikko Hirvonen, Finland, Ford, 30.

3. Dani Sordo, Spain, Citroen, 23.

4. Petter Solberg, Norway, Citroen, 14.

5. Henning Solberg, Norway, Ford, 14.

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