TRIER, GERMANY - French driver Sebastien Loeb cruised to a record-breaking seventh consecutive Rally of Germany title here on Sunday, to reclaim his place at the top of the championship standings.
The four-time world champion Citroen C4 driver finished on 3hr 26min 19.7sec, almost 50sec ahead of Spaniard Dani Sordo in the second C4.
Ford Focus pair, Belgium's Francois Duval and Finland's Mikko Hirvonen, finished third and fourth.
The German victory was Loeb's 43rd professional win, and he now moves four points clear of Hirvonen at the top of the drivers' championship.
'I'm very happy to have won here. Germany is a special rally for me, and as we won't get the chance to come here next year it was good to finish like this,' said the Frenchman.
'We had a good feeling in the car all weekend, and had no real problems to contend with. I'm happy to take the lead of the championship, and pleased with the job Dani and I did for Citroen.'
The podium placing for Sordo means that he moves into third place in the championship, but still adrift of the top two by almost 30 points.
'I made a few mistakes, and lost a lot of time on the first day, but on the second I changed some suspension setting and the feeling was very good since then,' said Sordo.
'For Citroen a one-two is very encouraging for the rest of the season.'
Loeb had all but sealed the win by the penultimate special stage, which afforded the Frenchman the luxury of a stress-free drive in the last stage.
But rival Hirvonen struggled to make up lost ground on the last day of racing, after an unlucky blow-out on Saturday meant he had to finish the 14th stage with a puncture.
'I would have preferred third, but fourth for me is not so bad on tarmac,' the Finn said.
'We've done some good stage times, and set some good splits, so if we can increase the consistency it's not looking so bad for the tarmac rallies later in season.'