NINE-time world champion Sebastien Loeb—competing in only four rallies this season—came back to the sport and into his winning ways by clinching Rally Argentina for the eighth time, cruising to victory in his Citroen C3.
Aboard a VW Polo, Sebastian Ogier’s challenge fizzled out in the early stages of the rally but managed to secure second. His teammate, Jari-Matti Latvala, came in third after capturing the 14th and final stage.
“There is a lot of emotion because it was such a difficult race,” said Loeb, who has won every edition of this event since 2005 and enjoyed a 50-second margin of victory this time around. It was his 78th career win and second this season after the championship-opener in Monte Carlo.
The 39-year-old Loeb is tackling a limited program of four rallies this season before quitting on home ground in France in October.
Around 80,000 spectators lined the final stage of Rally Argentina to witness Loeb’s last appearance in the country.
Ogier had dominated the early part of the race, winning five of the first six stages, but his bid unraveled with a puncture, as well as losing time by going off road.
“It’s a good result for us,” Ogier, however, said. He has a 54-point lead at the top of the championship.