Sebastien Loeb closes on WRC title by taking big lead at Rallye de France Alsace

Last Updated: 05/10/12 8:46pm

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Sebastien Loeb: Building comfortable lead at Rallye de France Alsace

Sebastien Loeb: Building comfortable lead at Rallye de France Alsace

Sky Bet

Sebastien Loeb is closing in on his ninth straight World Rally Championship title after taking control of the Rallye de France Alsace.

The 38-year-old needs to finish ahead of Citroen team-mate Mikko Hirvonen to claim this year's crown and he put himself in a great position to do so by winning four of the seven stages on Friday.

Loeb, who has won every WRC title since 2004, is currently 13.1 seconds ahead of the Ford Fiesta RS of Jari-Matti Latvala, who won the other three stages of the day.

Hirvonen is down in third place, 32.6 seconds adrift of Loeb and knowing that he must finish ahead of the Frenchman to take the fight for the title onto the Rally d'Italia later in October.

A repeat of Loeb's title success in his home country two years ago now looks the more likely outcome with two days of the event remaining.

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