Series Loeb signals his winning intent at Shakedown Three weeks after he clinched the 2010 drivers' title, Sebastien Loeb underlined his intention to keep on winning by setting the fastest time at this morning's shakedown test for Rally de ...
Series Loeb signals his winning intent at Shakedown
Three weeks after he clinched the 2010 drivers' title, Sebastien Loeb underlined his intention to keep on winning by setting the fastest time at this morning's shakedown test for Rally de Espana.
The four hour test - a prelude to this weekend's rally - took place on a new 3km stage on the outskirts of Salou, featuring 2km of asphalt and 1km of gravel. Conditions were dry and sunny throughout, with the temperature peaking at 21 degrees Celsius.
Citroen team leader Loeb completed four passes through the stage, setting his best time of 2m 08.6s on his final run, and making clear his objective for the rally.
"People have been asking me if I'm going to drive slowly," he said, "they want to know if I'm going to let Dani win. Of course I'm not. When I turn up, I drive to win. I don't want to let Dani win and, do you really think that Dani would want to win under those conditions?
"He doesn't want me to lead and then just let him past. I would prefer to stay at home rather than to come here and not be prepared to drive to try to win."
Fellow C4 WRC driver Petter Solberg was Loeb's closest rival - the privateer setting a time 1.1sec slower. Ford Focus RS WRC driver Jari-Matti Latvala was one-tenth slower than Solberg to round off the top three.
Citroen Junior Team driver Kimi Raikkonen became the first big name retirement of the event when he rolled his C4 WRC on his first full-speed pass, damaging its roll cage.
Following Thursday evening's start ceremony on Salou seafront, the competitive action on Rally Espana gets underway at 0730hrs on Friday when crews leave the Service Park bound for the opening Terra Alta stage.