WRC » 30 April 2012
Great to get back to winning ways, says Loeb
Sebastien Loeb: It's a great victory for the team after what happened in Portugal, when we scored zero points. It was important to react...
Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has said it was 'immensely satisfying' for him to take his seventh consecutive win in Argentina.
Loeb moved to the front on Friday afternoon and then enjoyed a good battle with his team-mate, Mikko Hirvonen, until Citroen enforced team orders mid-way through day two. In the end he triumphed by 15.2 seconds and the Frenchman was delighted to see his team bounce back after the bitter disappointment in Portugal.
“I feel very happy. It's a great victory for the team after what happened in Portugal, when we scored zero points,” Loeb reflected. “It was important to react, we've done really well with Mikko; we've done a very good rally, first and second.
“Everything went really well this weekend. Although the first few stages didn't go quite how we'd have liked, we stayed calm and in the end we were able to take control of the race.
“I like Rally Argentina because I have had a lot of success here and because the itinerary is always superb. It's an exciting rally. There are very nice stages and a very good atmosphere. It was a very long rally, but it is always immensely satisfying to win here. It's great to get back to winning ways”.
The result, his third win of the season and the 70th WRC win of his career, increases Loeb's lead in the drivers' championship to 18 points, not that he thinks he has his ninth title in the bag just yet.
“After what we did in Portugal, it's not bad to be in this situation now,” he replied when asked about the championship. “I feel okay, but still Mikko and Petter [Solberg] are not so far behind. Anything can happen, and there's a long way to go.”
Citroen team boss, Yves Matton meanwhile was very pleased with the one-two result, the perfect tonic after Loeb's exit in Portugal and Hirvonen's disqualification. It also means Citroen gains important ground in the manufacturers' championship, increasing its lead over Ford from 12 points to 45.
“After drawing a blank in Portugal, we have achieved a clean sweep here, which is clearly a great result for both World Championships,” Matton commented. “I would like to congratulate our two crews, who were able to go quickly when necessary and control their pace when we asked them to do so. It's been a perfect weekend.
“With over 500km of timed stages, this rally was though above all a challenge for the cars. Our DS3 WRCs completed 5hrs 34mins of stages without the slightest mechanical problem. That is a performance which is down to the men and women at Citroen Racing.”
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