Loeb, of the Citroen Total World Rally Team, has earned the right to choose his position for Friday’s mainly gravel stages first at the selection ceremony in Barcelona at 17:30hrs local time today after he set the fastest time on the Qualifying Stage this morning.
“I was thinking this morning that it wouldn’t make such a difference if I was the first, second or third or fourth to pick my place [on the road],” said Loeb. “When I think to the first day and where I will run on the road, we have to remember that even if the rain doesn’t come, the road this morning was damp. It’s not the easy choice and we have to think about the asphalt as well. This is not straightforward: Jari-Matti [Latvala] and Mikko [Hirvonen] both have very strong pace for this rally and we have to be wary of them.”
Of his performance on the 2.94-kilometre run, Loeb added: “I was not pushing very, very hard to make the fastest time this morning, but in the end it has happened.”
Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena will receive a special trophy in recognition of their achievements in Spain. They made their WRC debut in the country in 1999 and have won the event seven times. RACC president Sebastia Salvado will make the presentation outside Barcelona cathedral.