Holding a single-point deficit on Mikko Hirvonen going into the season's final round at Rally Great Britain, Sebastien Loeb
is well aware that – notwithstanding his overall position in the event's rankings - he has no choice but to finish ahead of his title rival.
If he succeeds
in doing so, the Frenchman will clinch a sixth World Rally Championship drivers' title. Far from being a load of pressure to carry on his shoulders, Loeb is finding the situation quite exhilarating.
"It's a nice stake, a nice finish for the championship," he said. "I think we have prepared well for the event, at least as well as we could."
The Citroen team driver has great experience and know-how on his side, but he is far from underestimating the abilities of his rival, nor the terrain upon which the 2009 championship will play itself out.
"I am aware that we have the potential to succeed in taking the title," Loeb commented. "Now we have three days to go through, 350 kilometres. Being on the attack on such tricky roads, it's not easy, so we'll see.
"We managed to make our way back into the title fight, we are not depending on anyone else – my destiny is again in my hands and we will try for the best."
There is much respect between Loeb and Hirvonen, with each driver knowing the other's strengths very well. Five-time champion Loeb recognises that Hirvonen has what it takes to claim his maiden WRC crown.
"This year he was really strong," Loeb said. "We had a quite difficult period mid-championship, but hey, that's good for the sport! Now we find ourselves almost equal before starting the final race... May the best man win!"