Loeb Relieved with Rally Finland Podium

Four days after the curtain was drawn over the Rally Finland caravan last weekend, 5-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb admitted it feels refreshing to finally make a return on the podium of a WRC event.

After beginning the season in a dominant manner – 5 straight wins – the Citroen driver failed to secure a single podium appearance since the Corse-based rally in Italy. Having scored only 7 points in the previous 3 rounds, his runner-up spot in Finland suddenly seems like a step forward for Loeb, despite losing out to championship rival Mikko Hirvonen in the process.

Loeb today admitted that the Fin was simply untouchable last weekend and that all he could do was drive strong enough to secure the next best point-finish. While reckoning he is yet to discover the secrets of the Finnish roads, Loeb is happy there are still some asphalt-surfaced rounds ahead of him this season.

I'm glad to get back on the podium. I have not been accustomed to victory for some time, or the podium, then to climb the stairs again, this is not so bad. I still collected big points even if I wanted to score some more,” said Loeb.

Finding the rhythm where we don’t take risks but are still advancing that’s the difficult part, especially on a rally such as Finland, which is not natural for me. I drive more easily on asphalt,” added the Frenchman.

The last time Loeb was the victim of such a long streak of rallies in which he failed to score a podium was back in 2003, when he eventually ended a 5-event non-podium streak with a 3rd place in Rally Cyprus. Now, with only 3 rounds to go in the championship, Loeb is 3 points behind Hirvonen in the drivers' classification.
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