Loeb aims for sixth successive win

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Frenchman Sebastian Loeb heads into this weekend's Rally Argentina with another world championship firmly in his sights.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:51 IST
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Cordoba, Argentina:

Frenchman Sebastian Loeb heads into this weekend's Rally Argentina with another world championship firmly in his sights. The Citreon driver has just won five consecutive world championship events, with victory in Greece his last success. He is the first man to achieve such a feat. Victory on Sunday in Argentina would make it six and would make the Frenchman seemingly unstoppable in his drive to retain his world championship title. Loeb currently holds a 23-point head in the standings. Return to retirement Former champion Carlos Sainz, who was a stand-in at Citroen for the past two rounds, has returned to retirement in Spain. That means that Belgian Francois Duval will make his comeback in Argentina after being dropped by the team. Duval said he fully accepted the punishment he had received for staying off the road and will undoubtedly be looking to make amends this weekend. Duval has a new co-driver, compatriot Sven Smeets, after Stephane Prevot quit. Former world champion Petter Solberg is the biggest threat meanwhile to Loeb's domination this season. Record winning streak The Swede is aiming to put an end to the Frenchman's record winning streak, claiming Loeb's success has only increased his own determination to win. The Subaru driver has been put firmly in the shade by his title rival over the last two months but he believes Argentina's dusty roads could suit him. He currently stands second in the standings. Ford's hopes rest with Finland's Toni Gardemeister, who finished second in Greece and is third in the championship, three points behind Solberg. Markko Martin from Estonia lies fourth in the standings with 39 points. Peugeot will be hoping their driver can produce a good result this weekend to help the team in the manufacturer's standings. Peugeot currently lie second on 79 points, five behind leaders Citreon. Argentina, which is in the middle of the southern hemisphere's winter, marks a return to cooler conditions after the Mediterranean heat of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece. It is also a high-altitude rally, with mainly gravel stages in the mountains above Cordoba with some fearsome jumps and high-speed water splashes thrown in. (AP)

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