Seb holds on after dramatic finale

Seb holds on after dramatic finaleFrom Ben Mulkern [ 05/10/2003 ].
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It looked as though nothing could shake Sebastien Loeb and his stroll to victory after a commanding performance over two and a half days of the San Remo Rally - that was until the crews set out to tackle the last pair of stages where rain had started to fall. The heavens truly opened and the final Colle D'Oggia run became an absolute lottery, it being a struggle just to keep the car on the road. Peugeot's Gilles Panizzi took the gamble of intermediate tyres and he reaped the benefits by gaining over a minute on his rivals leaping from fourth to second place overall. However, Frenchman Loeb held on for a marvellous win which at one moment looked at risk from the charging Panizzi - others were less fortunate, such as Marcus Gronholm's whose third spot went up in smoke as he left the road on the final test.

The win moves Sebastien Loeb into second place in the driver's title, two points behind Peugeot's Richard Burns who gained those two points with his unexpected seventh place. Ford's Markko Martin was another to be gobbled up by Panizzi, as the Estonian lost his deserved second place to finish one spot lower, ahead of Carlos Sainz in fourth and Francois Duval in a fine fifth. With McRae in sixth the event proved hugely successful for Citroen, who moved to the head of the manufacturer's title standings. Copyright ISC.