Sebastien Loeb has won at this week's Catalunya Rally before the event has even begun, taking victory in Thursday's karting challenge.
For the fifth year in succession, the Frenchman's Citroen teammate Dani Sordo finished second to Loeb in Spain. Also continuing a running theme was Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala, who placed his dog-eared kart on the bottom step of the podium to, once again, edge his fellow Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen in asphalt competition.
All of the WRC drivers were given three laps of the 900-meter track in Salou to post their best lap time and Loeb ended the event four tenths quicker than anybody.
He said: "If I turn up, I drive to win! This is a good result for Citroen: it's another one-two. It's good for the championship, except we already won that."
Loeb's countryman Sebastien Ogier was the driver closest to stacking his lawnmower-engined motor; having gathered momentum on the slightly downhill start-finish straight, the Rally Japan winner kept the taps open through the open 90-right which constituted Turn 1. Using all the run-off, Ogier tickled the tire wall in what was the afternoon's biggest moment. Asked if he had regretted his flat-out attack, Ogier said: "No."