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Loeb Drives to Victory in Monte Carlo Rally - 2004-01-25

French driver Sebastian Loeb has driven his Citroen to victory for the second straight year at the Monte Carlo Rally in Monaco. It was the opening event of the world rally season.

Loeb crossed the finish line on the 15th and final stage of the three-day event in four hours, 12 minutes and three seconds Sunday. That was more than one minute and 12 seconds ahead of Markko Martin of Estonia in his Ford. Francois Duval of Belgium finished third in a Ford.

In the world manufactures championship, Ford took the lead with 14 points, while Citroen finished with 10 points, thanks to Loeb's victory.

Marcus Gronholm of Finland finished the race in fourth place, while Belgium's Freddy Loix took fifth place. Both men drive for Peugeot, which placed third in the manufactures championship. The second rally of the season takes place in Sweden, running February 3-5.