Loeb vows to push in Finland

“We have to do what we can there”

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By www.wrc.com

29 June 2011 - 16:18
Loeb vows to push in Finland

Sebastien Loeb has admitted that he won’t be holding back when the World Rally Championship resumes after its summer break in Finland next month.

The Citroen ace holds a 17-point title lead over Ford rival Mikko Hirvonen heading to Neste Oil Rally Finland, which is based in the university city of Jyvaskyla from 28-30 July.

But with team-mate Sebastien Ogier five points behind Hirvonen and buoyed following his victory on the Acropolis Rally earlier this month, Loeb knows he can’t rest on his laurels.

“We will see how we can approach this rally but I will have to push, though,” said the seven-time world title winner. “We continue to lead with a good cushion but the gap [in the championship] is important and every point we can score is very important. We have to do what we can there.”

Loeb has won in Finland on one previous occasion, triumphing against Hirvonen by nine seconds in 2008. He said afterwards he had taken more risks than he would have preferred to beat the Finn and has since suggested that he would not attempt to replicate that performance in pursuit of a second victory.

Ogier has competed in Finland three times and claimed his best result to date when he finished second to Jari-Matti Latvala last season. Despite his lack of knowledge of the high-speed gravel tests, Ogier knows he needs a strong haul of points to maintain his push for his first world title.

“I don’t know Finland so well but I like the jumps, they are very spectacular,” said Ogier, whose victory in Greece was his third of 2011. “For the championship, it is looking, not good, but not so bad. It’s better than before Greece. We are 22 behind Seb. Yes, we are closer to Mikko, but Mikko is not the target. We will continue to put the pressure on them.”

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