Sebastien Loeb insists he isn't thinking about the World Rally Championship title heading into this weekend's Tour De Corse, despite the fact the Citroen ace could secure the drivers' crown for the fifth straight year.
A dominant victory in Spain in the first of back-to-back asphalt events, coupled with third place for closest rival Mikko Hirvonen, means Loeb goes into his home round of the season with a lead of twelve points over the Finn.
Should Loeb extend his lead over Hirvonen in Corsica by eight points, it would leave him 20 clear with just the final two rounds in Japan and Wales to run. However, with a vastly superior win record, Loeb would secure the title and move ahead of Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen in the record books as the first five-time champion in WRC history.
Despite having his first 'match point' however, Loeb admits that he isn't thinking about the title going into the weekend, with his focus firmly on simply trying to strengthen his position at the head of the standings.
“Our position in both championships is positive for the moment, but it will take a favourable scenario for us to sew up one or both titles this weekend,” he said. “We will therefore try to put all that to the back of our minds and I intend to focus above all on strengthening our positions."
Loeb added that he wasn't expecting to make any major changes to his C4 WRC for the second of the two late season asphalt events but urged caution going into the weekend with the possibility that the weather could play a part in proceedings.
"There isn't actually that big a difference in the set-up of our C4 WRC for these two asphalt rallies," he said. "Along with the team, we will make a few small adjustments to fine-tune our car to the slightly twistier nature of the Corsican roads which tend to feature more surface changes than last weekend's stages. But Corsica isn't a slow rally and we will get up to the same sort of speeds as we did in Spain."
"The weather is a factor that needs to be taken onboard every year in Corsica. The lie of the land, with high mountains so close to the coast, means that violent and isolated storms are always a possibility. Once again, tyres promise to play a big role and we will perhaps have to come to a few compromises on that front.”