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Loeb: I must beat Hirvonen this weekend

Sebastien Loeb will have just one aim on the Repco Rally Australia this coming weekend and that will be to return to winning ways with a view to keeping his chances of scoring a sixth consecutive WRC drivers' title alive.

Loeb finished second last time out in Finland, but with Mikko Hirvonen winning and taking the maximum ten points, the gap widened and while the margin is now only three points, the Frenchman is more than aware that with just two rounds left after this one, he can't afford any more slip ups.

Indeed, despite winning the first five events on the trot, Loeb has lost the momentum and the trip 'down under' will be especially tricky, as it will be a step into the unknown now that the round has moved from Perth to New South Wales.

"Our goal is to win, or at least finish ahead of Mikko Hirvonen," Loeb said prior to the tenth round in the 2009 World Rally Championship and the first Rally Australia since 2006.

"As the situation stands at the moment, the way the championship finishes is in my hands. If I win the last three rallies, I will be the World Champion. My mission will become somewhat more complex, however, if Mikko beats me just once!

"This weekend's event promises to be extremely close because Mikko is particularly strong on fast gravel, especially when the stages are new to everyone.

"The way recce goes will be vital, not only in terms of the precision of our pacenotes but also regarding the quality of the information we are able to provide the team in order to decide on the best set-up for the start.

"I feel rested after the recent four-week break and I have nothing against this sort of relaxed rhythm, but it is always a little bit harder to get back into the swing after a month without driving competitively."

Loeb's Citroen Total WRT team-mate Dani Sordo meanwhile is just as motivated and after taking podiums in Portugal, Argentina and Poland is keen to again show just what he can do on the loose.




Related Pictures

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Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Monza, [Credit: Hyundai Motorsport]
Podium 1st Australian - Molly Taylor (AUS) Bill Hayes (AUS) Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium - Volkswagen
Podium 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium - Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC

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