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Q&A: Sebastien Loeb, Citroen

Sebastien Loeb: My chances [in Germany] are good. As far as I can remember, I've won no other WRC rally as regularly as I have in Germany, right? And haven't I won almost every asphalt rally I've started in over the past few years? I suppose I am the favourite. I have to live with that and I can live with that.

Citroen ace Sebastien Loeb looks ahead to next week's ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the ninth round in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship, and discusses his plans for the future...



Q:
Sebastien, after eight consecutive ADAC Rallye Deutschland wins, would you be disappointed should you not win this time?

Sebastien Loeb:
Of course I would be disappointed. No doubt about that. But I also know that one day I will not be the winner here. That's the way it is in racing. But I do hope to get a good result again this year, especially with the WRC being such a tight race this year.

Q:
What do you think your chances are?

Sebastien Loeb:
My chances are good. After all this is one of the only asphalt only rallies. As far as I can remember, I've won no other WRC rally as regularly as I have in Germany, right? And haven't I won almost every asphalt rally I've started in over the past few years? I suppose I am the favourite. I have to live with that and I can live with that.

Q:
They say you feel something special about the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. What makes this event so special?

Sebastien Loeb:
I can't say this is home but it does feel a lot like that. It's close to my native region, and every time I started here, many of my friends were able to come. This rally is special for more reasons than just my success. I feel emotional ties also because this was my first WRC win ever. You never forget your first victory. And of course, there are the fans and the very specific character of the event.

Q:
What makes the ADAC Rallye Deutschland stand apart?

Sebastien Loeb:
First of all it's the great variety of roads and pavements. There are very fast stages and some extremely difficult sections. Wide and narrow roads alternate frequently. And to top everything, you have to deal with very different surfaces. There is hardly a car-length like the other. An absolute challenge.

Q:
After eight stints in the snow and on gravel roads, Germany will be the first asphalt rally for the new World Rally Cars. What do you expect?

Sebastien Loeb:
The Citroën DS3 WRC is definitely more skittish than the C4. This is because it is shorter and there is no more centre differential in the new cars. The tyres are going to enhance this feel. This year's Michelin tyres are different from last year's Pirellis. But these are just two factors that make the handling different this year. It's a challenge we must all meet.

Q:
What about your preparations?

Sebastien Loeb:
We're just back from the first real asphalt test here. I only drove the DS3 twice on paved roads before: last year, when development began, and then a short while ago at Satory, the little racing circuit used by Citroën Racing. The feel and balance of the car were quite good from the start. We got here with a basic set-up and then tried many different things. Since the individual stages are so different from one another, I spent one day at the Baumholder tank range and half a day each on two different sections in the Mosel vineyards.

Q:
What set-up do you need to do well on asphalt?

Sebastien Loeb:
Most importantly, the car should feel good with exactly the right balance. It should have no more than minimum understeer. You have to be able to trust your car and predict its every reaction precisely. When you are cornering, your rear end should not break away. The steering reaction should be gradual.

Q:
How does Loeb become Loeb? What do you do different from everybody else at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland?

Sebastien Loeb:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team

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Fan - Unregistered

August 12, 2011 4:40 PM

Great rally driver!! Some might disagree, but for me the best of all time. I just love to watch him pasiing full throttle in every section. The guy has really got to be brave in order to do that for seven years in a row, and still dont fell bored at it. Hope to see him driving in Le Mans when he retires from wrc. Best of luck to you Sebastien Loeb!!



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