06 May 08
World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb says he has to win the next round of the championship in Sardinia to get his title defence back on track - the Frenchman has also praised series leader Mikko Hirvonen for the way the Ford driver is approaching the season.
Despite having won three of the five events run so far this year, Loeb trails Hirvonen by five points following the Finn’s maiden 2008 success on the recent Jordan Rally. Hirvonen has not finished lower than fifth, taking points from every round.
“I hope to do better next time [on Rally d’Italia Sardegna],” said Loeb. “It is becoming consistent: you win one, you lose one, you win one, you go out on one. And [Mikko] Hirvonen is going about the championship the right way. I have to win in Sardinia to compensate.”
Loeb was leading Jordan comfortably when he was involved in a road accident with fellow C4 WRC driver Conrad Rautenbach on Saturday.
Loeb said: “I left Jordan with a bad impression. I fulfilled the one mission to be done: to collect a manufacturers’ point, but I could have really dominated the event. This accident was a really unfortunate combination of circumstances, but we leave with something positive: the performance of the C4. It is encouraging for the future.
Loeb has won Italy’s WRC round twice in the last three years, but slipped up last time out when he crashed out of the lead on the final stage of day two.