Sebastian Loeb instantly at ease in first WTCC Citroen test

Sebastien Loeb says he felt instantly at ease following his first tests of Citroen's new C-Elysee World Touring Car

Sebastian Loeb instantly at ease in first WTCC Citroen test

The Frenchman, who had already conducted tests in a modified World Rally Car, will spearhead Citroen's works WTCC effort next year.

And while the nine-time WRC champion admits his past successes could generate unrealistic expectations - particularly given his lack of circuit-racing experience - he says he was reassured by how quickly he was able to feel comfortable in Citroen's new challenger.

"When we tested for the first time [with] the real WTCC car I was already at ease with it," Loeb said.

"Obviously I found it a lot better [than the modified WRC car], as the team has improved a lot of little things.

"I was quite surprised and happy with the handling and balance."

Asked about the weight of expectation, Loeb said: "I know that many people expect me to win in WTCC just because I have won so much in rally.

"However, at this level switching is not an easy task and the case of Kimi Raikkonen is the perfect example: he switched to rally and was not able to win, then came back to F1 and was a winner again.

"It's a big change for me, but I am doing it with the will to be competitive.

"It will be difficult to be on top from the beginning, because for the time being I have the same racing experience a guy like Yvan Muller had when he was a teenager."

Loeb added that he hopes to conduct further tests on WTCC circuits in order to gain track experience, something that will otherwise prove difficult given the lack of time available during typical race weekends.

"We are currently trying to find the best way to test and build up experience, as the team and myself are starting from scratch in WTCC," Loeb said.

"It would be difficult for me to learn a racetrack in the free practice. We don't know many of the tracks where the championship is racing and we want to learn.

"I hope we will be able to test on some of the usual WTCC circuits before the beginning of the season."

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Citroen reveals Sebastien Loeb's C-Elysee WTCC car

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