Loeb delighted with 'perfect' start

World rally champion Sebastien Loeb has claimed that his dominant performance on the opening leg of the Rallye de France in Corsica on Friday was simply 'perfect'

Loeb delighted with 'perfect' start

The Frenchman was able to open up a 41.3 seconds lead over Citroen teammate Francois Duval after setting the quickest time on all four of the day's stages - and said he was surprised by the margin he had finished up with.

"It's been the perfect day," he told Autosport-Atlas. "I want to win this rally, so I knew I had to be quick in the morning.

"I was thinking Francois would be closer, but he had some small trouble and he wasn't able to be as fast as he might have been.

"I haven't had any problems at all. The tyre went off a little in the middle of the two morning stages, but I still think it was the right choice. There's not really that much to say..."

Duval admitted that he had got the set-up of his car wrong in the morning's stages, but said that he was much happier after softening up the suspension in the afternoon.

"The car was too hard this morning," he said. "I made the suspension softer this afternoon and it was better.

"I think there is still some speed to come from me and the car. The main problem for me is that I didn't have a test before this event, so I didn't know what the perfect set-up would be."

Duval holds a 16-second advantage over Ford's Toni Gardemeister, who believed that tyre choice had held back his chances of being closer to the Citroens.

"I am happy with today," said the Finn. "This afternoon the tyre wasn't quite right. I should have taken a compound harder, but I wasn't strong enough in the head to do that choice.

"This meant the car wasn't quite sharp enough through the afternoon. But it's good to be here, and fighting in this position."

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Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Author David Evans
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