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The Circuit

Loeb closes gap after Spanish Rally success

  • Story Highlights
  • Sebastien Loeb takes another step towards a sixth consecutive world rally title
  • Loeb wins Spanish Rally from Dani Sordo to give Citroen the constructors' title
  • The Frenchman one point behind Mikko Hirvonen ahead of final race of season
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(CNN) -- Frenchman Sebastien Loeb took another step towards a sixth consecutive world rally championship title by winning the Rally of Spain on Sunday -- clinching the constructors' championship for Citroen in the process.

Loeb's victory on the all-asphalt Spanish roads leaves him just one point behind title leader Mikko Hirvonen.

Loeb's victory on the all-asphalt Spanish roads leaves him just one point behind title leader Mikko Hirvonen.

Loeb finished 12 seconds ahead of team-mate Dani Sordo, with title rivals Mikko Hirvonen of Finland 54 seconds behind in third place.

The result was Loeb's fifth consecutive win on the all-asphalt Spanish round of the series, the 53rd of his career and his sixth this season.

Hirvonen, driving a Ford Focus, retain his world championship lead -- but he now holds a slender one-point advantage from Loeb going into the 12th and final race of the season, the Rally of Britain, on October 23-25.

"This one was tough because Dani was pushing very hard at the start, so we tried to fight, but we knew also that we mustn't make any mistakes fighting each other -- it was so important for us to finish," Loeb told the official WRC Web site.

"It was a pleasure to drive again on tarmac -- for me it's been a long time since we did it. I'm really happy, I enjoyed this victory."

Loeb looked to have closed to within one point of Hirvonen after winning the Rally of Australia last month, but the Finn was awarded the victory after stewards found that Loeb's Citroen anti-rollbars did not conform to technical standards.

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