In Rally of Mexico, third date of World Rally to be held from March 9 to 11, there will be a return to the specialty of French Sébastien Loeb. The nine-time WRC champion will compete with a Official Citroën C3 WRC and a reduced testing program will begin on Aztec soil that includes two other participations, the Tour of Corsica, from April 5 to 8; and the Rally of Spain, from October 25 to 28.
In the preview of this return, Seb spoke about the reasons that lead him to get behind the wheel of a WRC again, his expectations, the current situation of the category and even recalled part of his successful sports campaign.
-Why are you coming back to the WRC?
-I enjoy driving all kinds of race cars, but the feeling you can get in a rally car is something different. Also, new cars look good and fast.
-How did you choose this year's events?
-Rallycross is my main discipline, so we had to find races that fit that. I wanted to do a rally on gravel and Mexico adapted better. Corsica is a French rally and it was possible to rule it out. Spain has a mixed surface between dirt and asphalt, which I always enjoyed; so it is to have a different feeling.
-How do you prepare for the Rally Guanajuato México?
-I do what I've always done. Try to keep fit by running and cycling; nothing really special. I had a two day trial. It is not much, but hopefully it will be enough.
-What feelings do you have for this return?
-I don't push myself too much because I know it will be complicated. I don't know about these new cars so I have to discover them. I don't have a precise goal, I'm just doing it for fun. Daniel (Elena, his co-driver) is also happy to be back there.
-Is the WRC more competitive now?
-It seems that there is less control of a pilot as in the past with me or with Sébastien Ogier. It's more open, so it makes it more exciting. The level is balanced.
-Which pilot do you see as the most promising?
-There are (Thierry) Neuville and (Ott) Tanak, who is more and more impressive and consistent.
-Of all the competitions you played in the WRC, which one gave you the most satisfaction and why?
-The best moment of my career was when I won the Rally de France in Alsace, because I won the rally and the title at the same time. The last stage was in my hometown, Haguenau, in front of my family and friends: the atmosphere was just incredible.
-Who was your toughest opponent?
-I had many fights with Marcus Grönholm, who was my opponent for some years.
-What are the main ingredients to win a WRC?
-It's a bit of everything. Driving skills are the main thing. Also do a good preparation on the reconnaissance. And, obviously, be lucky!