Sebastien Loeb says his exceptional pace through the first morning of the Catalunya Rally has come from his relaxed approach to the event.
All the pre-event talk had been of Loeb's teammate Dani Sordo and Citroen privateer Petter Solberg making the most of running farther back on the gravel roads to take time out of recently crowned seven-time champion. But, Loeb turned it around to win two of the morning's three stages from the front of the field.
"I really feel much more relaxed now," he said. "The feeling is very different from the last event in France, there I was really tense. But now, it's funny, I'm enjoying pushing the car and driving. The driving is much easier when it's like this; I know that, if something breaks, OK, it's not the end of the world."
Loeb added that he was surprised to be leading the event at midday.
"There's a lot of loose gravel around," he said. "But in the first stage, it was quite humid which helped me a little bit. It's definitely cleaning a lot, but I don't know what it's like further back on the road."