Sebastien Loeb has paid homage to fellow countryman and rookie sensation Sebastien Ogier after the L'Equipe de France FFSA man took his third Junior World Rally Championship win of the season in Germany last weekend.
Ogier was involved in a scrap with fellow C2 S1600 runner Martin Prokop on day one and, while he finished behind the Czech, he retook P1 on Saturday in SS8. Then, when his rival was forced out in the next test, he 'cruised' to the end.
Ogier eventually took the Junior win in Trier by over three minutes, posting nine JWRC fastest times in total from 16 stages, and all on his first outing in the World Rally Championship on tarmac.
"Everybody wanted to see how Sebastien went on asphalt and he ended up doing a first class job," said Loeb, who formerly competed in the L'Equipe de France FFSA's colours. "He immediately found himself in a position where he was challenging for victory and he didn't make any mistakes whatsoever.
"This result has taken him even further clear at the top of the JWRC standings. He couldn't have wished for a better weekend and his performance is an excellent pointer for the remainder of the season."
Jean-Francois Lienere, who is in charge of Citroen Sport's customer competition programme, was also impressed with Ogier's drive and the performances put in by Aaron Burkart and Shaun Gallagher, who finished second and fourth in the sister C2 S1600s. Lienere did add, however, that he felt sorry for Prokop, who was forced out with an alternator failure.
"What happened to Martin is a real pity," he admitted, "He lost the chance of scoring a good haul of championship points, but had the ability to feature amongst the frontrunners.
"Nonetheless, it's been an extremely positive event for Citroen thanks to the great results from the other three C2 Super 1600s, which are all amongst the top four places.
"Our cars have already shown themselves to be fast on gravel, and we can see again here that they are just as quick on asphalt. Ogier can now add his name to those of [Dani] Sola, [Kris] Meeke, Sordo and Prokop: all past winners of the Juniors in Germany at the wheel of a Citroen.
"As was the case in Finland with Ogier, Hans Weijs amply demonstrated just how competitive our Citroën C2-R2 MAX is too. He managed to set stage times that rivalled those of the Super 1600 cars, particularly with a fourth fastest time on SS7 on Saturday."