Only 10 points separate the top four contenders for the WRC title, but second-placed Petter Solberg thinks the young Sébastien Loeb is the biggest threat to his championship hopes.

Only 10 points separate the top four contenders for the WRC title, but second-placed Petter Solberg thinks the young Sébastien Loeb is the biggest threat to his championship hopes.


Subaru Impreza WRC driver Solberg has been the WRC's most consistent points scorer of late, racking up 36 points since the Acropolis Rally. By comparison, championship leader Richard Burns scored 23 points in the same period, while Carlos Sainz, tied with Solberg on second place in the standings, scored 24.


The championship's second most consistent scorer over the European summer is Loeb, scoring 28 points since Greece, and Solberg says the Citroën star will be the man to watch on the asphalt rallies next month.


"It will, for sure, be a hell of a battle in the four last events of the championship," Solberg said. "I will do my very best, and I think Loeb will be the man to beat. I was very impressed by his drive in Australia, and he is very good on tarmac.


"But I feel also very confident at the moment. I like tarmac as much as gravel, and know I can fight in the top. Every single point will be very important on the next rallies," he added.


Meanwhile, Burns said the confidence Solberg and Loeb are showing in the latter stages of the 2003 title race reminds him of what he was like before he won the 2001 world title.


"There's been a lot of media attention around the younger drivers in the WRC like Petter and Sebastien and their performances in Australia were impressive," said Burns. "I think both of them are on the kind of roll I was on back in 1999 and 2000.


"Sometimes everything just gels and you find yourself extracting the maximum from the package. Certainly as far as Petter is concerned, he's got the confidence in the Subaru and knows every time he's behind the wheel he can really drive it,” he added.

Original article from Car