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Loeb impresses on first day of Monte Carlo Rally

9-time world champ Sebastien Loeb impresses on his rally return at Monte Carlo

Loeb impresses on first day of Monte Carlo Rally

MONACO (AP) -- Nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb returned to rally racing in style as he took command of the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally on day one Thursday.

The Frenchman, who has won the race seven times and ended his full-time rally career in 2012, won the opening special stage in his Citroen, then settled for third behind defending world champ Sebastien Ogier, and Jari-Matti Latvala in second.

Loeb was in a class of his own in the first stage, mastering the icy and tricky roads to beat his closest rival, Ott Tanak of Estonia, by 22 seconds.

Ogier cut his deficit in the standings to 13.3 seconds by winning the second stage, with Latvala third overall, 36.1 seconds back.

Updated : 2021-09-24 04:00 GMT+08:00