Citroën’s Sébastien Loeb admits that he “struggled in the pack” during the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) finale in Macau, despite professing to have been “one of the only drivers to overtake” around the street circuit.
Loeb was forced to fight in the first of the two races held on the Circuito da Guia, having lost out to the independent Honda of Norbert Michelisz at the start. The Frenchman pushed a little too hard on the third lap of the race however, as he locked up into Lisboa and allowed both works Hondas of Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro past as well as team-mate Yvan Muller.
Thereafter, however, Loeb failed to make any progress to recover the positions and had to settle for sixth behind his team-mate.
Race two saw Loeb make slight progress from ninth on the grid, first passing team-mate Ma Qing Hua before executing a superb overtaking manoeuvre on Tom Coronel into Lisboa on lap five for sixth position.
The Frenchman had to settle for third overall in the championship, having gone into the weekend with a chance of overhauling fellow Alsatian Yvan Muller for second. Loeb’s failed overtake in race one when challenging Michelisz for second ultimately cost him the most.
“There are good things and bad things to come out of this meeting for me,” explained Loeb. “I am satisfied with my general performance, both in qualifying and in the races. I think I was also one of the only drivers to overtake! But, as has been the case all season, I struggled in the pack.
“I was perhaps a little bit too eager at the start of race one, and that’s why Michelisz was able to pass me. In race two, I ran into a wall, but I managed to recover. I’ll have to apply everything I’ve learnt next year!”
Loeb also gained recognition during the weekend for trying to apply some of his rallying skills to the race track in free practice, as demonstrated in the below video clip.