Loeb back to his winning ways
Nine-time champ led from beginning to end
Newly-crowned Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton watched the WRC regular turn a 5.1sec deficit into a 12.5sec victory during the final 32.50km special stage at the Italian Grand Prix circuit.
Kubica led by 2.8sec in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC after Friday evening’s action. Rossi then won four of Saturday’s five stages in a similar car to start the final day with a 7.2sec advantage.
But Monza debutant Kubica was fastest in both tests to defeat the Italian, a three-time winner.
“We took the same Pirelli tyres but I knew already after the first loop that I was quicker than him,” said Kubica. “For some reason he did not have the same pace as before.
“On Saturday we took the wrong tyre choice, which was too hard, but on Sunday it was just right. Throughout this rally the tyre choice was complicated because of the mixed conditions but we managed to get it right most of the time and enjoy a really good fight,” he added.
Ken Block drove the Fiesta RS that he piloted in October’s WRC round in Spain and finished 29th.
“I’ve had a blast!” he said. “To be honest, these stages are a little tight and tricky and we had a couple of problems, including a spin and a navigational mistake as well, which meant that we did an extra loop. But these things happen.”
Ex-Mitsubishi works driver Gigi Galli finished ninth in a Fiesta RS.