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Vettel beaten by Loeb in thrilling Race of Champions final

Vettel beaten by Loeb in thrilling Race of Champions final

Vettel beaten by Loeb in thrilling Race of Champions final

Vettel beaten by Loeb in thrilling Race of Champions final

Sebastian Vettel has been beaten by nine-time World Rally Championship title winner Sebastien Loeb in the Race of Champions 'Champion of Champions' final in Sweden.

Vettel booked himself a spot in the one-on-one final in the 'Snow and Ice' competition against the most successful rally driver of all time after finishing top of a 10-person field of circuit drivers.

With the snow falling, conditions clearly favoured the off-road drivers.

The final was contested in a best-of-five format but after Loeb took a two-nothing lead, Vettel was able to close the gap in an error-strewn third heat with both drivers hitting the snowbanks that acted as barriers.

In the fourth leg, Loeb made up for his errors and crossed the line to take his fourth 'Champion of Champions' crown, equalling the record of Didier Auriol.

"I am really happy," said Loeb. "It's not easy for us to be here in front of all these Swedish and Norwegian guys because they are really used to that [condition].

"But I had a good feeling this weekend. I could find my rhythm.

"It was a nice show in the third round of the final when I lost completely control of the car."

Vettel added: "He was too fast. The conditions were getting trickier and it was getting more and more slippery and I thought here and there I had a good run but then here and there I made mistakes.

"He did really well and deserved to win. I think in these conditions I have a bit of catching up to do."

Earlier on Sunday, Haas driver Mick Schumacher was defeated by two-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick.

Former McLaren team-mates dropped out of the competition in the quarter-final stage.

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