Loeb concedes victory to Ogier
"I knew that we don’t have really a chance to catch him"
World champion Sebastien Loeb says he is settling for second place on Vodafone Rally de Portugal because his Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb is proving to be too fast on the gravel event.
Ogier heads Loeb by 36.8s with two stages left to run and is firmly on course for his first victory of the 2011 World Rally Championship season.
He told Wrc.com: “I made this decision not to attack because I knew that we don’t have really a chance to catch him. The only chance was to push him on the limit. But he’s diving so well since the start of the weekend and with 30 seconds gap there was no reason to try. We are still in the same team, working for Citroen and it is not my plan to try to push.”
If the French stars continue to hold station until the finish in Faro this afternoon, then it will be the team’s first one-two finish of the year after Ogier’s crash in Mexico earlier this month stopped Citroen from claiming the top two steps on the podium in North America.
Loeb says safeguarding his position is likely to rule out a charge on the rally-closing Power Stage later today.
“For sure I would like to score [bonus] points but I don’t want to lose what I have,” said Loeb. “I don’t know what points I will get on this rally but [if Ogier wins] I think the championship battle will be good. It is interesting this year.”
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