Sébastien Loeb came away from the second round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in a positive mood after dropping only one point to championship leader and race winner Johan Kristoffersson.
The Team Peugeot Total driver won his opening heat on saturday, only to be beaten by teammate Timmy Hansen in the second heat. This was good enough to see the Frenchman top the times at the end of the first day. Sunday’s heat races produced a sixth and fifth place as he secured his place in the semifinals.
A masterclass from Loeb and Hasen saw the two teammates collect a one-two finish to lead both cars through to the final.
“I had a really good feeling with the 208 WRX from the beginning.” said Loeb. “In the dry, the car was easy to handle, and I felt very confident: I could concentrate on the lap time rather than what I was doing with the car itself.
“The Q1 and Q2 sessions were good but in Q3 the conditions were different, and I was struggling a bit more to find the line. Luckily in the semi-final the conditions were dry again, then the final was run in amazing conditions.”
As the weather changed throughout the weekend, it gradually deteriorated in to one of the most bizarre scenes of Springtime as a small snow storm hit Montalegre. Loeb would push hard through the race but Kristoffersson was too strong as he took top spot ahead of Loeb and Volkswagen teammate Petter Solberg.
“It was a good fight all weekend and I really enjoyed it; it’s not normal to see snow!” added Loeb. “The battle is so close between everyone, but we are right up there too.
“You have to do everything perfectly if you want to have a good weekend in rallycross. It’s not always easy but very satisfying when it happens.”