Loeb narrowly leads WRC championship ahead of Wales Rally GB

It’s that time of the year again where the eyes of the motorsport World turn to Wales as the final leg of the World Rally Championship roars across the country.

Sebastien Loeb collecting his trophy at the end of Wales Rally GB 2010

This year it’s a more tense competition than usual. In recent years the championship has already been decided before the 13th round begins.

But this year it’s far from certain with reigning World champion Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb leading the title race by just eight points ahead of Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen.

25 points are up for grabs for the winner of Wales Rally GB with three bonus points available on the final day in the event’s concluding Power Stage.

British rally icon Mini also returns to the circuit, as a top flight WRC team, for the first time since the Sixties.

The British leg of the WRC also begins in north Wales– with drivers completing legs through mid-Wales before finishing in Cardiff– as the competition runs from north-to-south for the first time ever.

Shakedown is this morning at the Royal Welsh show ground in Builth Wells before the teams make their way north for the Super Special Stage on the Great Orme.

FIA WRC Drivers’ Championship (after 12 of 13 rounds)

  1. Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Citroen DS3 WRC 222
  2. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC 214
  3. Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Citroen DS3 WRC 193
  4. Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Ford Fiesta RS WRC 146
  5. Peter Solberg (NOR) Citroen DS3 WRC 110
  6. Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC 70
  7. Dani Sordo (SPA) MINI John Cooper Works WRC 57
  8. Matthew Wilson (GB) Ford Fiesta RS WRC 53
  9. Henning Solberg (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC 44
  10. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Citroen DS3 WRC (FIN) 34