Sebastien Loeb says he is pleased with the progress he has made in adapting to a touring car as the multiple WRC title winner continues to prepare for his move into the World Touring Car Championship this season.
The Frenchman's latest run in Citroen's new C-Elysee came during testing at Paul Richard as the team to continued to put more miles on the car it will use for its first foray into the series.
Loeb will team up with defending champion Yvan Muller and Jose Maria Lopez for the full season, with Ma Qing Hua in a fourth car
on selected events, and the 40-year-old said he was starting to get more comfortable in his surroundings as he prepares for the opening event of the year in Morocco.
“Sometimes driving a touring car seems quite strange, because you must learn how to keep your speed while cornering and brake earlier,” he told the official WTCC website. “In my first test I found all this very difficult and even disturbing. Now I think I am able to understand a bit better how to work with the car. I'm improving my driving and my feeling with the front-wheel-drive. And I enjoy it, because you need a lot of precision and have to push hard and brake late.
“I'm happy with the feeling I have with the car. The feeling I have from the testing is not bad, but for sure the race weekends will be something different. You have limited time to post a qualifying lap, you must find the good feeling with the tyres, you have to fight closely with other cars and that is something that I will only discover from Marrakech. I think I have improved in driving, but now I need to get used to overtaking.”
Loeb added that he was enjoying working alongside defending champion Muller, but conceded it would take time before he was able to measure himself up against his countryman.
“I'm happy to work with him, because he knows very well the category and this kind of cars,” he said. “For sure sometimes is difficult to be compared with the best, but it helps you to understand when you make mistake and how to improve.
“Of course this is a not an easy situation for myself, but I'm sure that will help me to grow up as a touring car driver. One thing is for sure: I don't think I'm ready to beat him.”