Sebastien Loeb says he is not worried about the lack of service time on Friday's opening leg of the Acropolis Rally.
Leg one of the grueling Greek event features 100 miles of competition on the rock-hard stages, and just two 15-minute remote services, where only limited repair work can be carried out. But while his rivals have expressed concern about the lack of chance to fix problems, Loeb says he is relaxed.
"There are a lot of big stones, so it's hard for the suspension and the tires and it's difficult to find the right rhythm," the Citroen driver acknowledged. "The car is strong but in some places it's so bad that if you push hard from the start to the end you can have problems. "For sure Friday is a long day with no service between the stages so that makes it especially complicated because if you break something, you are finished for the day. But I don't care – the only training I have for this kind of situation is not to make a mistake in the first place."
The World Rally Champion added that he still feels under pressure in the chase for this year's title despite his 18-point advantage at the top of the table.
"It's not under control, but at the moment we are leading the championship and that's not bad. For sure, I am expecting a big fight and everything is possible from Jari-Matti [Latvala], but my main rivals are Mikko [Hirvonen] and Petter [Solberg]," he said.
The Acropolis Rally starts from Athens, underneath the famous Parthenon, on Thursday, with one stage on the route back up the Loutraki. The crews then face eight stages around the Gulf of Corinth and into central Greece on day one, with only the spare parts carried in the car allowed to be used in the two remote service zones.