France's "retired" rally maestro Sebastien Loeb dips back into the World Rally Championship (WRC) this weekend, the nine-time world champion aiming to maintain his iron-like grip on the Rally of Argentina.
The Citroen DS3 driver has won every edition of this South American leg of the championship since 2005, and his presence in the line-up adds spice to a field headed by compatriot Sebastien Ogier.
Ogier heads the 2013 driver standings after shrugging off a debilitating virus to notch up his third win of the season in the Rally of Portugal last time out.
That lifted the Volkswagen driver up to 102 points, with Citroen rival Mikko Hirvonen in second on 48 points.
Loeb, who is only competing in four rallies ahead of his switch to the touring car championships with debutants Citroen in 2014, is lying third on 43 points, despite missing the last two rallies.
The 39 year old believes his lack of recent seat time in his DS3 will put him at a disadvantage on the Argentine gravel roads.
"Apart from one day of testing, I haven't driven on gravel since the 2012 Rally of Spain," he told wrc.com.
"So I don't know what sort of feeling I'll have on the first few stages in Argentina. I think that you can lose your rhythm pretty quickly, and that's why I'm cautious about my chances.
"There's no denying the fact that I have pretty much moved on from rallying and am now focused on the future.
"This reduced programme is a good way to continue to compete for Citroen in 2013, but I'm not as well prepared as [teammates] Mikko [Hirvonen], Dani [Sordi] and the other guys. We'll see what happens when we get our helmets on ..."
Ogier says he is more intent on extending his lead in the overall standings with a first ever win in Argentina than beating his arch-rival.
He said: "After the three victories, we obviously want to continue where we left off and, ideally, defend our lead in the championship until the end of the season. For now, however, we would be happy with another podium.
"I am looking forward to the duel with Sebastien. We had a great battle in Sweden, and it will be anything but easy again here. However, my main focus is on my rivals in the world championship."
The Rally of Argentina runs from Thursday through Saturday.
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