Interview with Sebastien Loeb Before the Swedish Rally 2006
After finishing second at the Monte Carlo Rally, Sebastien Loeb
is looking forward to the Swedish Rally, a race he won in 2004. The battle should be exciting once again this year.What did you think exactly
when you went off the road in Monte Carlo?
On spot, I really believed that everything was over! I insulted myself mentally… I thought about the lead we had built during the first leg, about the championship which wasn't starting the best way… In a word a big disappointment. Then we rang the team and they asked us how damaged the car was and then ‘Bing'! As I had never competed in ‘superally' before, I simply didn't think about it at all. I realised it wasn't really over yet. I ran back down to the car to check it carefully and Daniel started to calculate how much time penalty my mistake will cost us. Our motivation went up again. The next day when we left the service park, we were quite pleased as the good side of this situation was that we had almost nothing to loose. It was ‘no limits'… just to stay on the road and set good times. Actually, this recovery and this incredible finale made this Monte Carlo the most exciting we experienced.” Have you thought about the fact this off is the second consecutive?
“Of course! Immediately! Straight way I was asking myself a lot of questions, and I tried to identify the reasons. Maybe I take a bit of distance with my sensations especially when the feeling with the car is excellent, just like it was in Australia. On the Monte, with tyres for dry roads, we know every corner can be a trap. It's not really a nice experience. This ‘off' won't have happened for nothing and I will try to learn from it.”What are your memories of the Swedish Rally 2005?
“As there was no snow, I didn't enjoy it much. The Swedish Rally almost transformed into a gravel event, it's not much fun. In these conditions, we were loosing quite a lot of studs but we managed to keep contact with the leading duo. We were second when we were forced to retire. That said, even if I won in 2004, I still consider myself as a challenger in Sweden. The favourite is Marcus Grönholm. I'm dreaming of a straight battle with him this year, in thrilling conditions how they can be of this rally: this means sheet ice on the ground with high and thick snowbanks on the side to lean on. As the grip is consistent and excellent, you feel free to push hard and almost over drive as you know you can rely on the snowbanks sometimes. A big fight like that yes…and we will try to win it.”
Press release Citroen Kronos WRT