Frenchman Sebastien Loeb has emerged as Citroën’s biggest championship contender after his fourth-place finish in New Zealand, says team-mate Colin McRae.

Frenchman Sebastien Loeb has emerged as Citroën’s biggest championship contender after his fourth-place finish in New Zealand, says team-mate Colin McRae.

Loeb, the winner of the Monte Carlo rally earlier this year, outshone his more experienced team-mates McRae and Carlos Sainz on his first ever Rally New Zealand last weekend.

And on Tuesday, McRae tipped Loeb to be in with a shout at the title at the end of the season - especially since there are three tarmac rallies in October, Italy, Corsica and Spain.

“The way Sebastien is going at the moment… he has a good chance,” the Scot said. “We’ve got three tarmac rallies at the end of the year and he is obviously going to be very strong there. If he can keep up consistent results, Seb could be right up there.”

“My target was to get in the points in my first participation in New Zealand and I did it,” Loeb said earlier. “I am also satisfied that I set similar times to my team-mates, who know the terrain really well. For sure, we had very ‘hot’ moments in the car.

“We attack the stages at speed, but I should say that it was an intense pleasure to drive here. The New Zealand routes are some of the most beautiful in the championship…”

Original article from Car