Sebastien Loeb feels he has rescued his race weekend from a frustrating position to grab two rostrum appearances in the second round of the World Touring Car Championship at the Marrakech street circuit.

The nine-time World Rally champion struggled in qualifying and started race one in eighth on the grid, but a lightning-quick sprint off the line moved him up to P3. The Citroen Total C-Elysee driver maintained his position to claim third place behind his team-mates Jose Maria Lopez and Ma Qing Hua.

On the race two reversed grid set up Loeb was able push into second place and chased down Yvan Muller but found it extremely tricky to overtake in identical machinery.

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Loeb put his improvements from qualifying to the races down to changes made to his Citroen's setup which enabled him to put up a genuine fight against his WTCC rivals.

"After a frustrating qualifying day yesterday, the races have gone well," Loeb reflected. "We managed to improve the car's setup, and everything went OK. I got away brilliantly in race 1 and immediately found myself in third. Mehdi was hot on my heels, and I had to hold him off all through the race.

"I tried to keep up the pressure on Yvan Muller, but overtaking a four-time World Champion who had the same car as me was nigh on impossible."

The Frenchman's double podium maintained his second place in the championship standings but slipped to 17 points behind defending WTCC champion Lopez after he claimed victory in race one.