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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WRC news - Loeb out to extend his winning streak

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After claiming victory on the first three rounds of the 2009 championship, Citroen Total team drivers Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena are looking to build on their current run of success when the series moves to Portugal this week.

Loeb won the rally in 2007, when it last counted as a round of the WRC, and rates the event as one of his favourites.

“We always get an excellent welcome and it's nice to feel that our sport counts for the people here, and that the WRC is seen as a major event,” he said. “I love the stages; they are very varied with a range of different surface types. The weather tends to be good, too, so it's basically got all the ingredients anyone could ask for to be a great weekend!"

As well as trying to add a second Rally de Portugal success to his name, the Frenchman will be targeting his 51st WRC victory. "I start every event with the intention of winning,” he said. “We will push hard from the start and see how things unfold...".

As the first all-gravel round of the year, Portugal is a useful indicator of performance on other loose surface events later in the season. Loeb, however, thinks his car has already proved its versatility across a range of conditions.

“We kicked off the season with three very specific rallies, and Portugal is the first round to feature a more conventional format and spirit,” he said. “Given the level we have reached with the development of the C4, we have a shrewd idea of where we stand. In Cyprus, for example, we worked from the same basic set-up we used in Wales. That suggests that our car is versatile enough to adapt to all types of terrain."

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