Citroen team leader, Sebastien Loeb has said that he will have to go for it from the off on the Rally Catalunya this coming weekend.

Loeb currently trails BP Ford's Marcus Gronholm by ten points in the race for the 2007 drivers' title and with only five rounds left the Frenchman is more than aware that time is starting to run out for him to regain the momentum.

Speaking ahead of the twelfth round in the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship, Seb stated that the C4 WRC should be good in Spain as it was on the other two asphalt events this season in Germany and Monte Carlo, both of which he won.

"We will need to hit the ground running. The pace is usually very fast and it can be difficult to pull out a real gap, so it will be important to be able to push from the word go," he stated.

"The Citro?n C4 WRC was very competitive on the Monte in January, and again in August in Germany. Hopefully, that trend will continue over the Rally Catalunya's smooth stages."

Seb has won in Spain the last two years on the trot and pressed on why he always goes so well on asphalt and why Citroen have more often than not set the standard on the black stuff in recent years, he was keen to point out that they don't have any 'special tricks'.

"Why are we so competitive on asphalt? I don't think there's any secret; and if ever there was one we would probably keep it to ourselves for a few more years!" he joked.

"Maybe it's because the Finns, who always manage to drive on the limit on gravel, have more trouble on asphalt, whereas it's easier and comes more naturally to me."

Asked about the Rally Catalunya more specifically, Loeb added that it is an event he likes a lot, although there are certain aspects that he isn't so keen on.

"It's always nice to be back in Spain. It's a great rally with excellent stages that call for a circuit driving style which is something you don't find on other asphalt events," he continued. "There is lots of hard cornering and you need to concentrate to make sure you keep to the ideal line.

"On the other hand though, I'm less of a fan of the deep ruts that we find on the inside of certain corners second time round. You can't avoid them if you want to stay on the best line, but it's not something I like.

"The ruts can be quite deep and you can take a big jolt as you re-join the road. That can also damage the car, a rim or the tyres. Our objective though will be to try to win and hope that our rivals succeed in splitting us and Marcus."

As for the last event, where he lost out on the win by 0.3 seconds, Seb noted it is not something he has thought about a lot. Indeed he has already put him behind him.

"It's not my style to dwell on things and I have to say that the result in New Zealand won't be my worst memory of the year. I prefer to be beaten by a small gap like that than by a minute without understanding why, or without having been able to mount a real challenge," he explained.

"My fight with Marcus Gr?nholm in New Zealand was exceptionally fierce and one of those moments that make you realise why you enjoy rallying so much. You have to remember the way the event unfolded, too; we were on the pace throughout, except when we weren't on the ideal tyres or when we were the only ones to hit rain on the final day.

"The Citro?n C4 WRC was remarkably competitive and that points to the fact that all the work the team has put in is paying off. We know we have the potential to fight for victory on every one of the remaining rounds and, given our situation in the championship, that's very important," he summed-up.

 

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