Freddy Loix admits he is thrilled to have moved into the lead of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge following his fourth place finish on last weekend's Rally de Curitiba.

Loix went into the event in second place in the standings but found himself acting as road sweeper on the opening day, with Rally Monte Carlo winner Sebastien Ogier not competing in Brazil as he prepared for this weekend's WRC event in Cyprus.

The Peugeot Team Belux driver said ahead of the Brazilian event that his focus was on trying to secure the points lead and a fourth place run was enough to move him into a three-point championship lead, although he will miss the next event on the calendar in Kenya before returning to action in the Sata Rally Azores.

"It was my objective to claim the series lead in Brazil so I was not pushing at my hardest," he said. "In fact, when I did try to push the car was sliding so much that I decided to bide my time because it was useless to do anything else.

"I'm happy to leave Brazil as the championship leader."

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