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Loeb targets winning end

5 November 2012

Sebastien Loeb says he is focused on victory in what will be his final outing as a full-time driver in the World Rally Championship this weekend in Spain.

Loeb, who has already wrapped up the title for the ninth successive time, has already revealed that he will only take part in selected events next year, with the Frenchman working with Citroen towards a move into the World Touring Car Championship for 2014.

The Spanish event will once again run on a mixture of both gravel and asphalt and Loeb said he had only one aim for the weekend.

“Just like in Sardinia, I think we'll all be 'pumped up' to try and win,” he said. “I'm not here to finish fourth or fifth, nor is Mikko, and those behind us in the standings will also want to finish the year with a good result.

“Although the titles are no longer up for grabs, it'll still be interesting. A chapter is undoubtedly set to close this weekend. I'll be in Monte Carlo when the 2013 championship gets underway, but it won't be the same. I don't think that I feel any regret or sadness, because my decision to stop rallying doesn't signal the end of my racing career.

“With Citroen, we are preparing to take on new challenges and I am really looking forward to committing fully to them. For the time being, however, let's try and win this Rally de Espana!”

Team-mate Mikko Hirvonen meanwhile will also aim to end the season on a high having wrapped up second in the standings last time out with his success in Italy.

“My aim is to move up another step to get closer to Sebastien,” he said. “If I manage to battle – even if it's only a little bit – with him, then that would mean I would have made another big step forwards. We moved in the right direction in France and we've kept on working since then. This week, for example, I spent a day driving a single-seater to help me to improve my braking and racing lines.

“This may come as a surprise, but I'd rather that the entire rally was held on tarmac roads. The stages on the Friday are enjoyable enough, but I feel that the true nature of this event resides in its sweeping circuit-style roads. It would be better to have three full days on these stages.”


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