WRC »

Loeb: Slowing is not my vision of rallying.

Sebastien Loeb has lambasted the current rules regarding running order in the World Rally Championship after brandishing his own decision to slow down at the end of the final stage as not his 'vision of rallying'.

Loeb had been on course to lead heading into the final day of competition on Rally New Zealand, but having witnessed the disadvantage imposed on erstwhile leader Mikko Hirvonen during day, Citroen decided to employ tactics to keep Loeb off the front.

A similar decision was employed by Ford, who dropped Hirvonen back in order to let his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala vault from third to first and take on the role of sweeping the roads clear for the title protagonists tomorrow.

Now third on the road and only 13.3secs behind Latvala, Loeb was nonetheless critical of the change in the rules that dictate the running order is made up of the results from the earlier leg. Previously, the top 15 were reversed in order to get around the spectre of cars stopping intentionally just before the end of the stage.

"We managed to move ahead after SS10. However, along with the team, we worked out that 4.2s wasn't a big enough lead to take into the final day if we were first on the road.

“We regretfully let our rivals pass us again, although that's not really my vision of rallying which should be about driving faster than the others and not having to lift: There are nonetheless rules we have to exploit. We'll see tomorrow whether we made the right choice."

Loeb's views were mirrored by Citroen team boss Olivier Quesnel, who claims his requests for the rule to be changed has fallen on deaf ears.

“In August I asked officially to change the rule, and I was alone to ask it, so I understand it will stay like that. But I will say now, officially, that I hope it will stop because I don't think it's good. Even if we use it now - it's stupid.”

Away from the controversy, Loeb was otherwise pleased with his performance after bridging the 28secs gap to Hirvonen over the six stages, even if the final results will show him going into the final day actually behind his rival.

"With an overnight deficit of 28s to make up, we had no other choice than to push as hard as we could. Running second on the road is effectively better than being first through the stages. Even so, we still had to push extremely hard and not make any mistakes. Thankfully, our car performed faultlessly and we managed to make up much of the gap.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Loeb (F) Daniel Elena (MC) Citroen C4 WRC
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul - Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC
Hayden Paddon (NZL) John Kennard (NZL) - Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC
Podium, Simone Tempestini (ITA) Giovanni Bernachinni (ITA), Citroen Ds3 R3 WRC3 Champions
Podium, Simone Tempestini (ITA) Giovanni Bernachinni (ITA), Citroen Ds3 R3 WRC3 Champions

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


duro27 - Unregistered

August 30, 2008 9:29 AM

They brought back the old rules/tactics in order to beat Loeb and not let him after Gronholm retirement to have easy task to take the title. They don''t care about our sport when currently it fulfills their targets. They even refuse to bring a wet-tyre in asphalt rallies after safety requests but Wilson and the Ford drivers issue a veto on the idea because they believe it will turn to performance advantage to Loeb! Find yourself in 5th gear tackling with slick tyres the wet stages with countless rivers of water crossing the road and tell me now about there is not risk of your safety.

Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

August 30, 2008 12:20 PM

I think also that as mentioned up top, Tires rules are crap too, while talking about safety and speculation about banning safety crews to save further costs, well the cars used for safety crews are the same ones as used on the recce so its not gonna save money coz the cars are already there and teams would see it as justifiable to pay a crew for a couple of days to run as safety (gravel note) crews, its nothing compared to other budgets. I think its good that everyone has to use the same tire, but on Ashalt if its raining the crews should be able to use either the defualt set compound tire for that event or a full wet as their choice (for safety reasons).



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.