Loeb back to his winning ways
Nine-time champ led from beginning to end
The nine-time champion drove a Citroen DS3 on test roads in Serres, in the Devoluy region, on Thursday and Friday and admitted it was good to rediscover his rally roots after a season driving a Citroën C-Elysée in the World Touring Car Championship.
Loeb said: “It’s nice to have this feeling again - with four-wheel-drive and on some normal roads. It’s a very different driving style. You have to improvise much more, it’s fun.”
Fourteen months after their last WRC appearance, Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena will make a one-off return with Citroen at the opening round [22 - 25 January].
But after two days at the wheel, the Frenchman denied his return to the stages had been as natural as getting back on a bicycle. “Well, I feel better in a car than on a bicycle!” he said, “but still it was a little bit complicated in the first run to get the feeling again. But it comes back very quickly and by day two the feeling is okay.”
The Monte Master, who has won the rally seen times before, faced a variety of wintry conditions on his test, which should stand him in good stead for the notoriously unpredictable event.
“It was very good conditions on the first day, dry with a little dampness in places but nothing special. The second day was much more difficult with ice and tricky conditions - especially in the morning. There was no real snow, but maybe we won’t have any in the race either.
“It’s always the same with Monte Carlo, you do the test in the conditions you have and you do the race in the conditions you find,” he added.
The test wasn’t all plain sailing though - as the video below shows...