LOEB WINS WORLD RX OF BELGIUM THRILLER
Team Peugeot Total’s Sebastien Loeb has won the Coyote World of Belgium after coming out on top in a thrilling final at Mettet.
The Frenchman led from the opening corner to resist the attentions of Petter Solberg to the chequered flag, Loeb notching up both his and Peugeot’s first World RX win since Latvia 2016.
An exciting conclusion on a day of fantastic action throughout, Loeb got the hole-shot off the line in the final to head Johan Kristoffersson initially through the tight right-hander. despite the championship leader briefly being kicked up on two wheels against the inside barrier as the six-car field funnelled into turn one.
However, a better exit would allow Timmy Hansen slot ahead of the his countryman to place Peugeot 1-2, followed by Kristoffersson and his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden team-mate Petter Solberg.
With the two Audis of Andreas Bakkerud and Mattias Ekstrom trailing in fifth and sixth after losing time with separate wide moments on the opening lap, it was Solberg would move for the Joker first in an attempt to get himself back into contention. It would prove a shrewd move, the Norwegian picking off Kristoffersson and then getting the better of Hansen once they had made their moves.
Loeb, however, would keep his composure to sustain the pressure from Solberg and reel off a popular win in Mettet, the second of his World RX career.
Solberg and Hansen completed the podium, with a recovering Ekstrom – who took his Joker on the final lap – just grabbing fourth from championship leader Kristoffersson. Bakkerud followed in sixth as the entire field finished within three seconds of one another.
Despite a disappointing result in the final, Kristoffersson still leads the overall standings (75 points), ahead of Loeb (66), Solberg (65), Bakkerud (61) and Hansen (59).
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