WRC »

Loeb focused on Spanish victory

Sebastien Loeb insists his focus on Rally Spain is firmly on victory as he seeks to overhaul Mikko Hirvonen in the race for the World Rally Championship title.

Loeb looked to have closed the gap to the Finn on Rally Australia only to be stripped of victory when an irregularity was found on his Citroen C4 following the event.

The resultant one minute penalty handed victory to Hirvonen and allowed him to extend his lead to five points heading into the penultimate round of the season this weekend.

Loeb has won in Spain for the past four years and will seek a fifth straight win to close the gap to Hirvonen going into the season finale in Wales, and the Frenchman said his priority was to win the event and hope team-mate Dani Sordo can also finish ahead of his Ford rival.

"It's difficult to feel confident when you are dependent on the results of others,” he said. “It's not a position I wanted to be in, but I can only accept it. That said, a Citroen one-two here in Spain seems to be a higher probability than in, say, Sweden.

“If Dani, or anybody else, manages to finish between Mikko and me, that will practically put us back level again. If that happens, we'll see how we approach Rally GB. For the moment, my priority is to win in Spain."

Loeb also insisted that he had pit his penalty in Australia firmly behind him and admitted that the situation could have been a lot worse than it was.

"I had just one thing in mind at the start of Rally Australia, and that was to finish ahead of Mikko,” he said. “It was the sort of terrain on which he is very strong, and I had to pull out all the stops to beat him.

“When I was told of the penalty after the finish, my immediate feeling was one of immense frustration. Our C4 WRC was legal, but an administrative error in the homologation papers deprived us of the victory we had just taken on the stages. I can't bear a grudge against my team because anyone can make a mistake, including me, too, this year.

“With hindsight, although the penalty was hard to swallow. I tell myself it would have been worse had I finished behind Mikko without being capable of matching his speed. It came at a bad time, but I've put it behind me now…"


Tagged as: Spain , Sébastien Loeb , Citroën

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Loeb (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Total WRT
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Ken Block (USA) Alex Gelsomino (ITA), Ford Fiesta WRC
Ken Block (USA) Alex Gelsomino (ITA), Ford Fiesta WRC
Ken Block (USA) Alex Gelsomino (ITA), Ford Fiesta WRC
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Ken Block (USA) Alex Gelsomino (ITA), Ford Fiesta WRC
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Robert Kubica,  Maciej S zczepaniak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC, #10 RK M-Sport World Rally Team)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

Start 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.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

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