Article

Loeb grabs early lead in Sweden

7 February 2013 22:28

Frenchman Sebastien Loeb claimed the early lead at the Rally Sweden in the World Rally Championship on Thursday.

The Citroen driver and nine-time world champion – who is scaling back his WRC commitments in 2013, competing in just four races – topped the timesheets in the snow.

Loeb, who could only finish eighth in qualifying earlier in the day, won the short stage in a time of one hour, 34 minutes and 52 seconds.

Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala and Qatar M-Sport Ford's Evgeny Novikov (+0.5s) tied for second.

There was also a tie for fourth with Novikov's team-mate, Mads Ostberg, and Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen (+0.7s) locked level.

After winning qualifying, Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier (+2.5s) was disappointing, finishing ninth.

Ogier chose to start the first stage from last position in a bid to avoid loose snow but he was unable to repeat his earlier efforts.

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