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Loeb set to clinch 9th straight world rally title

Updated: October 5, 2012, 2:55 PM ET
Associated Press

STRASBOURG, France -- Sebastien Loeb remains on course to clinch his ninth consecutive world title after winning five of seven stages at the Rally France on Friday.

The Frenchman, who will partially retire from rally driving next season, leads Mikko Hirvonen of Finland by 61 points overall. He needs to finish ahead of his Citroen teammate to clinch the world crown.

Jari-Matti Latvala of Finland gave Loeb some competition by winning the third and sixth stages -- both ahead of Loeb ...

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