World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Loeb says running first on the road could be an advantage on this week's title deciding Rally GB. The Citroen driver admitted the recent rain could help him defend the eight-point advantage he brings to the Builth Wells-based event.
"If it rains and then it's dry, running first on the road means that you can sometimes make some mud for the cars following," said Loeb. "It can be an advantage, but normally it's just the same for everybody. It's nice to be starting the final round of the championship like this."
Loeb admitted he would follow his own plan on the event, resisting the temptation to be drawn by Ford man Hirvonen.
"I'm not going to follow Mikko's rhythm," said Loeb. "I want to go and set my own rhythm and to find this early on in the rally.
"Hopefully, this will be faster than him and good enough to win. I'm optimistic that I can beat Mikko, but, like I always say, this is a very tricky rally and we can never be too optimistic. I just have to do my job."
Both Loeb and Hirvonen have won Rally GB previously and the Frenchman admitted he is a fan of the Welsh roads.
"I like this rally," he said. "It's usually a good one for me and the roads are fun. But it can be a difficult rally if the fog comes or sometimes we can even get some aquaplaning on the mud. Right now I have more points than Mikko and my aim is to finish the rally like that."