Sebastien Loeb says he is completely in the dark about what to expect from his World Rally Championship return with Citroen at this week’s Rally Mexico.
The nine-time champion retired from full-time WRC competition at the end of 2012, but won in Mexico on his last six starts there.
Loeb completed his two-day pre-event test in Spain last month and admits he is impressed with how far the C3 has come since he last drove it in September last year.
But he would not be drawn on what sort of result to expect this week, when he and co-driver Daniel Elena make their first WRC appearance since a Monte Carlo one-off in 2015.
“I hope to be more or less on the pace,” said Loeb.
“I have no idea where I stand in relation to the other drivers, so I can’t wait to get started.
“You have to bear in mind that this is still the world championship – the other drivers haven’t stood still over the last few years.”
While Loeb has started Rally Mexico eight times, he was quick to point out that the route has evolved since he was last there in 2012.
“Twenty-eight per cent of the course is going to be new to me, compared with just 4% for the others, but that’s pretty positive, because it is one of the events I still know best,” he said.
“However, my memories of the 72% that I have driven before go back six years, so I’ve done a little bit of work so that I don’t feel completely disorientated.
“I hope my [11th] position in Friday’s running order will help me to get my bearings because, with the current regulations, you really need to have a good first day otherwise your rally suffers.”