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Loeb wins Rally New Zealand

Sebastien Loeb extended his World Rally Championship lead to 38 points as he took his fifth win in seven 2012 rallies in New Zealand.

The eight-time defending world champion finished 29.6 seconds ahead of Citroen teammate Mikko Hirvonen.

The win once again underlined the Frenchman's utter dominance in the sport over the past eight years.

"It's been a long weekend and my driving has not been perfect," Loeb said.

"We made a few mistakes in the closing power stage, when we were pushing too hard but the most important thing is that we have won."

Norway's Petter Solberg finished third in the fastest Ford and said tyre selection on the opening day cost him dear.

"We came here to win but a third place is still good so we must be happy with that," he said. "The team and the car is fantastic, but we just need to keep going and hopefully one day soon a win will follow."

 Rally New Zealand: Overall standings after Stage 22 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 4hours 04mins 51.2secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 29.6secs M
3. Petter Solberg Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +01mins 36.4secs M
4. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +02mins 13.6secs M
5. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Citroen DS3 WRC +02mins 42.4secs M
6. Dani Sordo Prodrive WRC Team MINI John Cooper Works WRC +03mins 03.1secs
7. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +04mins 52.9secs M
8. Armindo Araujo WRC MINI Team Portugal John Cooper Works WRC +09mins 36.4secs
9. Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +10mins 30.3secs
10. Manfred Stohl Brazil WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +11mins 26.3secs M

Anthony Davidson Huge Crash 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours

2013 WRC calendar

Next year's FIA World Rally Championship will include a return to Australia as part of a 13-event calendar.

Although the dates of the events have yet to be finalised, has adopted the calendar proposed by the WRC Commission.

In addition to Australia, Argentina, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Monte Carlo, Portugal, Spain and Sweden will all host a round of the WRC in 2013.

The definitive calendar will be published once logistics and the calendars of other FIA championships are taken into account to avoid date clashes where possible.

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT

The introduction of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT effectively announces the ouster of previous versions of the SLS AMG.
The vehicle is equipped with the same 6.2-liter V8 from the current SLS model, but delivers an additional 20 horsepower at 583. Torque remains consistent at 479 pound-feet, and the same seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch gearbox is carried over. The GT’s maximum speed is still electronically limited to 197 mph, while the 0 to 60 acceleration time yields 3.6 seconds. Enhancements are also found on the car’s adaptive performance suspension, resulting in stiffer springs and dampers that are more aggressively tuned. Interior upgrades include the new optional Designo style package, offered in three different color combinations and featuring the finest leather upholstery with contrast stitching and diamond quilt patterns on the seats and doors.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT will hit dealer showrooms starting in November.