Loeb: Argentina win very special
|By David Evans||Thursday, June 9th 2011, 11:02 GMT|
Sebastien Loeb says it was a special feeling to realise at the start of the final Rally Argentina stage that he was about to successfully overcome a one-minute penalty to claim his 65th win in the World Rally Championship.
Loeb denied he ever lost motivation following his penalty for arriving early at a day-one control on the South American event. He fought back to reclaim the lead from Citroen team-mate Sebastien Ogier on the powerstage.
Talking to the championship's official website, Loeb said: "My one objective was to close the gap after I was given the one-minute penalty and finally it paid. I had only one chance to catch the driver in front.
"I had Mikko [Hirvonen] 45 seconds ahead and I could see that I could be much faster than him through the stages on Saturday, so I pushed to catch him and then I had Petter [Solberg] in sight. It was a question of finding new motivation and never giving up. For sure the feeling at the start of the powerstage was special: I knew I came back from nowhere and, again, I am in the fight for the lead and for the victory."
Loeb admitted his latest win was one of the more unexpected he had taken - and possibly one of the most important in his pursuit of an eighth title.
"It was an incredible feeling," said Loeb. "For sure, I had to push hard, I had done a good rally, but this was an unexpected win. This is an important victory for the championship – that's clear."
The Frenchman added that he enjoyed the battling drive which carried him from fifth to first.
"I was on the maximum. I couldn't do much more. I was on the limit everywhere and taking risks on Saturday. You have to focus exactly on what you are doing and when you are doing this, you are a little bit in another world. These are usually the moments when the feeling is the best, you have one goal and that goal is to reach the limits and win – I like this very much."
Loeb is 13 points clear of his nearest challenger, Ford driver Hirvonen, going into next week's Acropolis Rally.