The last decade had disappeared. Gone. In the blink of an eye, we were back at the heart of Citroen's total control of the World Rally Championship as Sebastien Loeb and technical types Didier Clement and Christophe Besse locked themselves into a conversation about how to make their car faster.
There was less hair for some and more grey for others, but the relationship remained just as it had been back in the days of the Xsara WRC morphing into a C4 WRC in a seamless stream of success. Earlier this week in the hills high above the Costa Brava, there was feeling that Citroen had reached back into its past to take a step forward into the future.
On the road up from Barcelona, I found myself questioning the sense in Loeb's return. By his own admission it's been more than four years since he drove a World Rally Car on gravel. Since departing the WRC full-time at the end of 2012, Loeb's been going around in circles in cars that bear little resemblance or relevance to a 2017 World Rally Car.