(CNN) -- Citroen's Sebastien Loeb comfortably held off the chasing pack to secure victory in the Rally of Jordan on Saturday -- his second win of the season.
The Frenchman went into the final day with a 24-second lead and ended up finishing 31.1 seconds clear of Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala -- who has moved up to second place in the overall standings, 25 points behind the six-time champion.
Latvala's fellow-Finn Mikko Hirvonen, who is seen as Loeb's main challenge this season, crashed out on the second day and is now 31 points behind in third position overall.
A delighted told the World Rally Championship's official Web site: "It's been a good rally for us and with a 31-point lead over Mikko Hirvonen it means it has been a good start to the season.
"I really had to go flat out because Jari-Matti was going very fast and made me push to the limit all of the time."
Sweden's Petter Solberg finished third in his privately entered Citroen, with works factory driver Dani Sordo of Spain taking fourth place -- also for Citroen.
Britain's Matthew Wilson came fifth while Sebastien Ogier, who was second overnight, finished down in sixth place after receiving a 50-second penalty for leaving the morning service station late.