Photo: Citroën Racing

Sébastien Loeb leaves France disappointed after costly race two mistake

Sébastien Loeb started from pole position for the first time in his WTCC career at Paul Ricard and converted it into his third victory of the season, but leaves him home race disappointed after he failed to finish race two after he hit a tyre stack at Turn 4.

The tyre stacks were placed on the circuit following the drivers’ briefing after Friday testing, with mixed support from the drivers. A number of drivers championed the idea of the tyre stacks to ensure no one made use of the run-off areas after a controversial GT race at the circuit last weekend, while others were concerned over the potential damage they could cause.

Loeb was caught out, as he was last year at the chicane at Paul Ricard, in race two, colliding with the tyre stack and damaging the front-left of his Citroën C-Elysée WTCC.

“I was following Pechito (López) and Ma (Qing Hua) and made a stupid mistake at Turn 4. I was very close behind Ma, I was understeering a little bit and there was a tyre at the exit of the corner and I couldn’t see as I was close behind Ma, when he went past it just appeared in front of me and there’s nothing I could do,” said Loeb.

“(In race one) I was pleased to start in pole position as it was the first time for me in the championship, but I didn’t make a very good start, I had to protect a bit on the first lap and after I was still leading at the end of the first lap, I was able to push and make a gap

“I tried to make an advantage while Pechito and Yvan were fighting and lost a little bit of time so I was able to make a comfortable gap and from this point I just concentrate on my driving and tried not to make mistakes.”

“I’m happy to have pole position and win the first race in France, it was just magic, but I am disappointed as I had the performance to do a good second race, and I’m still losing points to my rivals for the championship, so I can’t say I’m happy at the end of the weekend.”