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Loeb extends WRC lead with Corsica victory

  • Story Highlights
  • Sebastien Loeb earns his fourth successive win at his home Rally of Corsica
  • Frenchman extends World Rally Championship lead to 14 points in his Citroen
  • Mikko Hirvonen second after Ford teammates deliberately earn time penalties
  • The Finn has only two races left to overcome the deficit, in Japan and Britain
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(CNN) -- Sebastien Loeb marched towards a fifth consecutive world title with his fourth successive victory at his home Rally of Corsica on Sunday.

Sebastien Loeb extended his overall with two races remaining in the World Rally Championship.

Sebastien Loeb extended his overall with two races remaining in the World Rally Championship.

The Frenchman finished three minutes and 24.7 seconds ahead of main rival Mikko Hirvonen, who took second place after Ford teammate Francois Duval deliberately checked-in early to the pre-stage control and collected a two-minute penalty.

Jari-Matti Latvala finished fourth after also following team orders, checking in nine minutes late to collect a 90-second time penalty time.

Loeb, who last weekend won the Rally of Spain for the fourth successive year, was delighted after winning all but two stages of the Corsican race.

"It's getting better and better," he said. "To win here in Corsica is a great moment. We were much faster all rally and that's great for me and the team. We'll add another two more points to our championship lead. So okay, we'll see how we get on in Japan."

Hirvonen now trails by 14 points ahead of the trip to Japan from October 31-November 2, with the season-ender at the start of December at the Wales Rally GB.

Duval and Latvala were happy to play their part in keeping Ford's title hopes alive.

"I am so happy," said Duval. "That's two rallies with no mistakes and no punctures. It's been a long time since I've driven such a good car on tarmac."

"We want to do everything we can for the team," Latvala said. "Of course personally I'm disappointed, but nobody can take away the experience and the confidence I have got here. It'll be a completely different story on the gravel rallies which follow."

Former world champion Petter Solberg completed the top five in his Subaru Impreza, with the Norwegian completing the final 26-kilometer stage two minutes slower than the leaders after collecting his second puncture of the day.

"I was driving carefully, so I don't know why it happened," he said. "I didn't feel I hit anything. But that's how it is. I tried hard from that start, and that's it."

Australia's Chris Atkinson was sixth, while Urmo Aava of Estonia and Britain's Matthew Wilson followed him to also pick up points.

All About Sebastian LoebMikko HirvonenFrancois Duval

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