It seems Sebastien Loeb's luck lasted just as long as he needed it to. Loeb never really stumbled during the season and won his ninth driver's title after he won the last rally. This weekend though, at the Rally D'Italia, Loeb retired on Friday morning, allowing his teammate, Mikko Hirvonen, to take his first win with Citroen.
Hirvonen began an epic battle for the lead with Loeb before the world champion crashed out on Friday morning, leaving Petter Solberg as Hirvonen's main rival. The Citroen driver had the measure of the Ford though and was pulling away. Then Solberg also crashed, exiting the rally on Friday afternoon.
His teammate, Jari-Matti Latvala had retired from the rally during the first leg so Solberg's retirement completed a truely dreadful event for Ford.
While the works team suffered, the M-Sport Ford team salvaged things for the manufacturer with Evgeny Novikov taking second place and his teammate, Ott Tanak, taking third. It must be said though that second place was one minute and 20 seconds behind the winning Citroen.
Rally D'Italia - results
1. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen 3:23:54.9
2. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 1:20.6
3. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 2:21.1
4. Mads Ostberg Adapta Ford + 3:42.9
5. Sebastien Ogier VW Skoda + 4:27.5
6. Chris Atkinson Italia Mini + 5:22.2