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Loeb: Pretentious to think I can take on WRC title hopefuls in Spain

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Nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb says it would be “pretentious” for him to expect he can challenge the series’ current frontrunners for victory in Spain this weekend.

Loeb will make his third and final planned WRC appearance of 2018 with Citroen on Rally Spain.

The Frenchman starred on his first outing since 2015 in Mexico in March, leading for much of the event before a puncture ended his victory hopes, while he was also fast in Corsica but ruined his chances of a good result when he crashed his C3.

Loeb will enjoy a favourable position further down the starting order on Friday in Spain, while title contenders Thierry Neuville, Sebastien Ogier and Ott Tanak are first on the road on the WRC’s only mixed-surface event.

“The standard is so high it would be pretentious to say that I’ll be able to challenge the three title contenders, but I hope to be more or less on the pace,” said Loeb.

“If it’s dry on day one, we’ll need to make the most of the potential advantage of our road position, because lots of things always happen on this leg, with hidden rocks pretty much everywhere.”

Loeb said his primary objective in Spain was to complete the rally cleanly.

“After setting some good times on both surfaces in Mexico and in Corsica, I’d love to get through an entire rally without making any mistakes,” said Loeb, who was involved in Citroen’s pre-Rally GB test as part of his preparations for Rally Spain.

“My two days of testing went well. It’s now up to me to put it all together, from start to finish.”

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