Motorsport: Latvala wins in Wales

Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala of Ford won the Rally of Great Britain, the 10th leg of the World Rally Championship, ahead of France's Sebastien Loeb in Cardiff on Sunday, local time.

Also victorious in last year's event, Latvala led practically from the start to finish 27.8sec ahead of championship leader and eight-time world champion Loeb, with Latvala's Norwegian team-mate Petter Solberg a further 0.9sec back in third place.

The result prevented Citroen from claiming victory in the constructors' championship, but both Citroen and Loeb will expect to be crowned champions at the Rally of France in Alsace on October 4-7.

Despite a late fightback on Sunday, Loeb was unable to undo the damage inflicted during the first two days of the race, when Ford proved more adept at handling the slippery roads in the south Wales countryside.

He did, however, succeed in overhauling Solberg, who began the day more than six seconds in front of him.

Latvala recorded the seventh victory of his career and his second win this season, after a previous success in Sweden.

It enabled Ford to bring an end to a run of five straight victories for the all-conquering Loeb, who is nonetheless closing in on his ninth successive world championship crown.

New Zealander Hayden Paddon was seventh in the SWRC class, and heads to Rally France tied for second place in the championship.

- AFP

_AAP

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