Sebastien Loeb was bitterly disappointed to have to retire from the Rallye de France on Friday and has said he is going to have to pull out all the stops in the final two WRC events now if he is to win the WRC drivers' title for an eighth time.
Loeb, who crashed out in Australia and only scored 4 points 'down under', was forced out of his home event in only the third stage, when a warning light came on showing an oil pressure fall in the engine at the 27 kilometre mark in Pays d'Ormont 1. After stopping to check the situation, the Citroen man had to admit defeat and with no possibility of being able to rejoin under the SupeRally and at least try and salvage a few points, he was not happy.
“There's never a right time for something like this to hit us, but it's the last rally in which I would have wanted it to happen,” Loeb said. “I didn't feel it coming. There's not much to be said.
"It really is a pity as I felt pretty good. The car was pleasant to drive and I liked the stages.
“Even if my rivals in the world championship still have a long way to go, for me coming away empty handed doesn't help my chances in the drivers' title chase.
“I'm going to have to fight hard in the last two rallies of the season if I want to win my eighth world crown.”
Loeb was 15 points up on Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen and 29 points up on his team-mate, Sebastien Ogier ahead of this weekend's eleventh round in the 2011 World Rally Championship and with 25 points up for grabs to the winner, plus a maximum 3 bonus points for the Power Stage win, his position is almost certain to be less comfortable now going to the penultimate event of the season in Spain and then on to Wales Rally GB.