Sebastien Loeb rued a costly error on his final qualifying lap which denied him the chance to grab pole position in the season-opening World Touring Car race in Argentina.

The Citroen Racing driver will start from third on the grid for race one of the first WTCC race of 2015 but feels if he hadn't made a mistake in the final sector he would have be threatening to steal pole from reigning WTCC champion Jose Maria Lopez.

The mistake saw the nine-time WRC champion put in a hot lap of 1m 47.061s in Q3, a whopping 1.6 seconds behind Lopez. Despite the disappointment of starting P3, Loeb was delighted for the Citroen factory team who secured a 1-2-3-4 grid for race one.

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"This is a really positive result for Citro?n, particularly as all the manufacturers' cars start the season with the same weight," Loeb said. "I wanted to challenge for pole position and I attacked hard in Q3. Unfortunately, I lost control of my rear wheels on the fastest bend on the circuit and ran onto the grass. Oh well, I had to try."

Despite starting P3, the French driver will have a slight advantage over the two men in front of him for race two when the grid is reserved. Loeb will start from P8 with championship rivals Yvan Muller P9 and Lopez P10.