25 Jan 08
Despite leading the rally by a healthy margin of 56 seconds at the end of day two, defending world rally champion Sebastien Loeb says this year's event has not been the easiest Monte of his career.
"Okay, this year's rally hasn't been the hardest one I've done, but it hasn't been the easiest either," said Loeb. "The fact is Monte Carlo is never easy. For sure the feeling I have with the car this time is really good, but there is still ice and tricky conditions around. I still find it a difficult rally."
Loeb explained he had pushed especially hard on the day's morning stages in an effort to pull ahead of team-mate Dani Sordo. "I knew that Dani would be quick today. Last year he was also pushing hard and he made it was really difficult for me. So this year I sat down and decided, okay, I have to do everything I can to try and build a lead, and so far it's turned out okay," he said.
The Frenchman has a remarkable record of success on the oldest rally in the championship. His first attempt was in 2001, when he won the S1600 class in a Citroen Saxo. He was second overall the following year in a Xsara WRC and won the rally outright in 2003, 2004 and 2005. A second place in 2006 was followed by win number four in 2007. If Loeb is victorious on Sunday he will become the first driver ever to win the rally five times since was first run in 1911.