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Gravel gives Loeb cause for concern

As he will be first on the road

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By www.wrc.com

31 March 2010 - 18:23
Gravel gives Loeb cause for concern

Citroen Total team driver Sebastien Loeb has warned that an increased amount of loose gravel on the stages of this year’s Jordan Rally could cause him problems on the event’s opening day.

As championship leader, Loeb will be the first to tackle Thursday’s seven stages and believes conditions are far more slippery than they were when the event was last run in 2008, when some sections were as hard as asphalt.

Part of the reason for this is the amount of repair work carried out in recent weeks to repair stages damaged in the worst rains for 20 years.

"I think there’s much more gravel than there was two years ago," said Loeb. "Last time they put some Dead Sea water on to compact the surface, but this year they have put gravel on the road so it’s looser. It’s still a hard base under that but on the first pass we will need to clear this gravel, and that will be difficult I think."

Loeb’s title rival Mikko Hirvonen will be second on the road on Thursday and believes the stage conditions could prove beneficial.

“Even after the repairs, the weather has actually damaged some of the stage surfaces and meant we had to change some of our notes,” said the Finn, “It may actually be a slight advantage not to be running first through the stages on Thursday.”

WRC

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