Key Points:

World champion Sebastien Loeb won his second Rally New Zealand today to extend his lead in the world rally championship drivers' standings.

The Frenchman finished 17.5 seconds ahead his Citroen teammate, Spaniard Dani Sordo, while Finland's Mikko Hirvonen was third, 41.5sec off the pace.

It was record-extending 42nd rally victory for Loeb, whose previous success in New Zealand was in 2005.

It was also his third successive win after his victories in Finland and Germany.

Loeb, who is seeking a fifth successive world title, doubled his lead over Ford rival Hirvonen in the drivers' standings to eight points with four rounds remaining.

- NZPA