Preview: Loeb Chases Sixth Win

After his record fifth win in a row, world rally champion Sebastien Loeb wants more

Preview: Loeb Chases Sixth Win

The Citroen driver has every chance of stretching his amazing run of success to six of the best in Argentina on Sunday.

"After the Acropolis Rally, it all took a bit of time to sink in," said the Frenchman of his unprecedented winning streak.

"My immediate objective is to try and win again, beginning with Rally Argentina and to try and win the championship, both championships. If that allows us to continue our current run, then so much the better."

Loeb is 23 points clear of Subaru's Norwegian Petter Solberg in the championship with eight races remaining.

Citroen lead the manufacturers' standings with 84 points to Peugeot's 79 and Ford's 57.

Former champion Carlos Sainz, a stand-in at Citroen for the past two rounds, has returned to retirement in Spain with chastened Belgian Francois Duval making his comeback in Argentina after being dropped by the team.

"I saw it as a punishment and doubtless a justified punishment after the mistakes I made," said Duval. "I absolutely had to stay on the road and I went off."

Duval has a new co-driver, compatriot Sven Smeets, after Stephane Prevot quit.

"I want to prove that I am capable of achieving what the team expects of me," said Duval.

Cooler Conditions

Argentina, in the middle of the southern hemisphere's winter, marks a return to cooler conditions after the Mediterranean heat of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece.

It is also a high-altitude rally, with mainly gravel stages in the mountains above Cordoba with some fearsome jumps and high-speed water splashes thrown in.

Subaru are hoping the roads favour them, with their Pirelli tyres strong in the cold and wet.

"Argentina is a completely different rally compared to the others we've done recently," said Solberg.

"Our performance there last year was good and we were leading the event for a while so I'm feeling good about the potential.

"As a rally, I like it a lot and I think maybe it's one of the events where I can fight to the top."

Peugeot's Marcus Gronholm, 28 points off the lead, also thinks he can win. He knows that he needs to.

"Although my points deficit in the drivers' standings looks like it could be difficult to make up, we still have every chance in the manufacturers' championship," he said.

"But we will now need to be thinking in terms of outright victory if we are to stay in the title chase."

Ford's hopes rest with Finland's Toni Gardemeister, who finished second in Greece and is third in the championship three points behind Solberg.

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Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Author Alan Baldwin
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