Freddy Loix has begun his bid to win Rallye Monte Carlo for the first time after completing a test in the south of France last week.
The 40-year-old Belgian ace drove a Skoda Fabia Super 2000 test car as part of his preparations for the opening round of next year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
"It was quite difficult because the weather conditions were changing," said Loix, a six-time IRC event-winner. "We had some ideas of what we wanted to do on dry Tarmac but in the end it rained so we had to change a bit the set-up."
Loix, who is planning to enter an expanded programme of IRC events in 2011, said winning Monte-Carlo would represent a major achievement.
"I was second two years ago and if I could finish one place better I would be the most happy man in the world," said Loix. "Monte-Carlo can be quite an easy rally if it's dry but when it's wet or if there is snow then it can be one of the toughest rallies in the world."