After a shakedown session during which timings were recorded by hand, three of the CitroÃ«n drivers took time to reflect on how they are to approach this weekends Rally France, which gets properly under way tomorrow.
Championship leader Sebastien Loeb is seeking to claim his seventh straight World Rally Championship title on his home event in France, and openly admits that it is a very important rally to him.
“It’s a very important rally for me, because it is my home rally, but also because I have he opportunity to win the world title here. So everybody is speaking about this, but at the moment I just want to concentrate on my rally” said Loeb
The weather will play a factor in the weekend, and Loeb took time to mention how this would affect the rally, “It’s raining, so the condition will be tricky”, he said.
Loeb laid down his intentions to his rivals, by stating “All I can do is try to do my best”.
Such a statement will strike fear in some of those who had eyes on the victory, as Loeb prepares to drive in a rally based in his home region, on his favourite surface, and with the chance to clinch yet another world title at the same time.
Dani Sordo will partner Loeb in the CitroÃ«n Total World Rally Team for the French event, and he is looking forward to the new-look Rally France, but at the same time is going to drive with his head, and look towards CitroÃ«n’s Manufacturer’s title charge as well.
Speaking of the French stages Sordo said “It’s Really really fast, narrow parts. We cut the corners all the time”, adding “It’s quite difficult, but its nice as it’s high speed”.
Of the Manufacturer’s championship, Sordo summed the scenario up in one succinct sentence, “It’s an important rally for CitroÃ«n”.
In terms of his approach to the rally, with CitroÃ«n’s push for the title mixed with his determination to perform well, Sordo said “I will try to drive well, and fast at the same time”.
Sebastien Ogier is relishing the chance to compete on home soil.
“I am happy to be racing in France”, said Ogier.
Speaking of the level playing field, due to the rally taking on a completely new route in a new region, Ogier said “It’s a new rally, its always good when everybody is out to discover the road”.
Ogier will compete in Rally France representing the CitroÃ«n Junior Team, and will therefore not be collecting points towards CitroÃ«n’s Manufacturer’s championship bid, and as such he will be looking to push hard, develop his tarmac ability and overall, perform well to bolster his position in the championship standings.
“This weekend I drive for the CitroÃ«n Junior Team so I have no pressure about the Manufacturer’s championship, I just think about my championship”, said Ogier.
“I want to try and improve my driving on this surface. I will have to take a bit more of risk to do that”, added Ogier.