Sebastien Loeb says he is keen to try and return to winning ways in Germany this weekend having seen his victory run in the event come to an end last season.
Loeb had taken eight straight wins on the event before finishing second to then team-mate Sebastien Ogier last year after a puncture on Saturday cost him valuable time.
Speaking ahead of the event this time around, Citroen ace Loeb said he was eager to challenge for his ninth German success and backed the improved tyres introduced by Michelin for this season in an attempt to reduce the number of punctures.
“At least everyone has stopped asking me how many times I could win here in a row!” he joked. “Last year, I was on course to win, but I was a bit unlucky to pick up a puncture on a long straight section. Michelin has responded since then, introducing new, tougher tyre carcasses. Since July, we have devoted a good amount of time in testing to adapting the ground link technology to the tyre upgrade. I am pleased with the progress we've made. We might be a little bit slower on the uneven sections, but that will be true for everyone.”
Loeb admitted however that winning again this season wouldn't be an easy task, particularly if wet weather hits the German stages.
“I really like this rally, because there are always a lot of friends there to support me - and also because I have won there eight times,” he said. “I still don't find it easy, especially if it rains. Mud gets dragged onto the racing line and that leads to radical changes in grip that can be difficult to manage on such narrow and fast roads.”