Loeb Won't Take Any Risks

World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Loeb has admitted that he is not willing to take any risks in the Rally Japan this weekend as he closes in on the drivers' crown

Loeb Won't Take Any Risks

The Frenchman only needs to finish third this weekend to claim his second consecutive world championship and, although he had been running second on the opening leg, he dropped a place to Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm during Saturday's stages.

In fact, once he realised in Stage 11 at Emina that Gronholm was rapidly closing in on him, he decided it was not worth pushing in a bid to maintain his position.

"In fact my tyre choice wasn't as good as it might have been in the conditions," said Loeb. "As soon as I saw that despite pushing hard it would be difficult to match the pace of Marcus, I decided not to risk making a mistake."

His decision to take it easy was further justified later in the day when the rain-affected stages proved difficult for the competitors. 

"The ruts were up to 30cm deep and the stages weren't much fun," added Loeb. "Consciously or otherwise, my mind was made up to defend third place. Marcus was too quick and, to make up the 25s gap he had pulled out would have meant taking too many risks. In our current situation, it would be foolish to make a mistake..."

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