Q&A with Sebastien Loeb - It’s good to be back
"It was a good fight with Jari-Matti nearly all the way"
Sebastien Loeb ended a frustrating spell of three rallies without a victory when he triumphed for a seventh time in Spain to edge clear in the battle of the 2011 World Rally Championship title.
Sebastien, congratulations on win number 67 of your career! We haven’t seen you on the tope step of the podium since Finland - with your high standards, it’s been a while! How are you feeling about the win and the fact that Citroen has secured the manufacturers’ championship here?
“For sure it’s good to be back. We had a difficult time since Finland, a puncture in Germany, a mistake from myself in Australia and a problem with the engine in France on my home rally. For sure I was a bit disappointed. We had a quite a good lead in the championship but we lost everything in three rallies. Now we start from zero again and with the victory so it couldn’t start better than that.”
How has the weekend gone for you, how have you enjoyed Spain?
“I enjoyed for sure. It was a good fight with Jari-Matti nearly all the way. On Thursday I was not so confident when we saw the road on the recce because there was a lot of gravel and it was really difficult to open the road. Finally I had a little bit of help form the weather condition and maybe it made it easier for me. From that point driving on Tarmac I was more confident with a 30-second lead. I knew that on Tarmac normally I am not bad so I could take it a bit more easily.
Not too bad on Tarmc is probably the biggest understatement ever. You mentioned your battle with Jari-Matti Latvala. Were you surprised by his constant pace this weekend?
“Yes he was really fast on the Tarmac stages. He was really pushing hard especially yesterday and we had to drive on a very high level rhythm to match his time so it was really a good fight. It made it good for me because I had to stay in the right rhythm. It was interesting and I think he is a good driver for the future.
You’ve become the most successful driver in terms of stage wins this weekend. What do you think can be done on Wales Rally GB because you don’t have to win there...
“Exactly, that’s the situation. If Mikko’s winning the rally I have to be second with some good points from the Power Stage. For sure I will try to fight with him and not to be behind him. It’s a very open situation for the title and it’s not easy. We will have to fight hard with him in GB. We know it can be very difficult so we will see what happens. It will be interesting but everything is possible because the rally is very long and anything can happen.”
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