WRC Spain: Leader Mads Ostberg sure Sebastien Loeb will prevail

Rally of Spain leader Mads Ostberg has no expectation of being able to beat Sebastien Loeb to victory in the World Rally Championship season finale, despite starting leg two in Spain with a 27-second cushion over the champion

WRC Spain: Leader Mads Ostberg sure Sebastien Loeb will prevail

A superb performance by Ostberg on Friday's rain-hit gravel stages gave the Adapta Ford driver an early advantage, but the rest of the rally runs on asphalt - a surface on which Loeb has been near unbeatable for the last eight years.

Ostberg is also very conscious that he is on the brink of beating the factory Ford drivers to third in the championship. He holds a four-point advantage over Jari-Matti Latvala, who is currently 49s off the lead in third in Spain, and is 13 clear of Petter Solberg, who retired from leg one with damaged suspension.

Asked if he thought he could resist Loeb's charge on Saturday and Sunday, Ostberg replied: "I don't plan to beat him. That's not why I'm here.

"My focus is on getting third in the championship and that's what I want.

"I will look at Jari-Matti and he is our target for the rest of the weekend. Our goal is all about beating him."

AUTOSPORT understands that securing third in the standings is key to Ostberg's negotiations with teams over 2013 drives. The Norwegian is a leading contender for a Citroen factory seat alongside Mikko Hirvonen, with Dani Sordo's chances of a Citroen return dented by his disappointing recent form. Loeb will only contest a partial 2013 campaign.

Ostberg admitted he was thrilled to be ahead of Loeb - even if it only proves temporary - in the final rally of the nine-time WRC champion's full-time career.

"Loeb is an unbelievable man," said Ostberg. "All that he has achieved over the years is just incredible.

"Today was very good for me. I made no mistakes and the key was to be clean while pushing as hard as we dared.

"But really the next two days will be all about Sebastien."

shares
comments
WRC Spain: Ostberg leads from Loeb after gravel leg

Previous article

WRC Spain: Ostberg leads from Loeb after gravel leg

Next article

WRC Spain: Sebastien Loeb leads after Mads Ostberg hits trouble

WRC Spain: Sebastien Loeb leads after Mads Ostberg hits trouble
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Mads Ostberg
Author David Evans
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021