WRC: the factory Fords hand victory to Loeb's Pirelli-equipped Citroen C4

The Rally New Zealand, which finished in Hamilton today, has certainly been one of the most dramatic events of the entire season. After a spin on the opening stage this morning, Sebastien Loeb believed that he had lost the chance to pass the two Scorpion-equipped factory Ford Focus WRCs of Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen. Instead, an impact with a rock for Latvala and a spin for Hirvonen left the way clear for Loeb and his C4 WRC to claim their eighth win of the season, ahead of team mates Dani Sordo and Marc Marti.

Hamilton, 31 August 2008 - In 2007, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena had to concede victory in New Zealand to the factory Ford Focus of Marcus Gronholm by just three-tenths of a second. This year, despite a very different rally that was characterised by tactics, the win also looked like going Ford's way. Loeb also spun his Pirelli -shod Citroen C4 WRC on the first stage this morning, which seemed to settle things in Ford's favour. But in sport, nothing is ever over until the chequered flag falls or the final whistle blows.