sport

Loeb bids for back-to-back wins

Sebastien Loeb hopes to continue his farewell World Rally Championship tour by claiming victory on this weekend's Rally of Sweden.

The Frenchman, world champion in each of the last nine seasons, will not add a 10th crown to his tally as he elects to scale back his involvement in the championship, competing in just four events in 2013.

But the 38-year-old showed he had lost none of his hunger with a typically dominant win on the season-opener in Monte Carlo.

Sweden, however, has been one of the few events that Loeb has never been able to master. In fact, just one of his record 77 WRC victories have come on the snow-based event.

But he hopes he can sign off in good fashion on his final appearance there.

He told wrc.com: "It is undoubtedly not one of the rallies where I have enjoyed the most success in recent years, but that's exactly why I'm keen to compete here.

"I am here one final time to try and go out in style."

Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier is the favourite to claim the title this season, and he lived up to that billing by finishing second to Loeb in Monte Carlo.

But Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito believes Sweden will provide a better indication of how strong the Polo R WRC is.

"After a good start to the season, the entire team now heads to the next challenge fully motivated and full of confidence," he said.

"However, everyone in the team is well aware that the good result achieved in Monte Carlo is not yet a true indication of where we lie compared to the opposition."