The WRC championship heads to Rally Great Britain this weekend and Citroën drivers Sebastién Loeb and Carlos Sainz are eager to make their mark on a course that is hopefully drier than before.

The WRC championship heads to Rally Great Britain this weekend and Citroën drivers Sebastién Loeb and Carlos Sainz are eager to make their mark on a course that is hopefully drier than before.

Current championship leader Loeb is optimistic about the team's chances at a circuit within a national park he thinks will greatly favour the Xsara's setup.

"They roads are not too rough and they're fast, slippery and wide enough to enable you to slide," Loeb commented, "something which was previously indispensable given how little grip there was. I admit that I also like the stages because they suit the Xsara... Will that still be the case now the event has been brought forward two months? I hope so!"

For the first time, this rally will be held in late summer, rather than at the very end of the season in November, where conditions are traditionally cold, foggy and muddy.

"There is clearly a higher chance that the going will be drier at this time of the year," says Citroën Sport's Technical Manager Jean- Claude Vaucard. "That in turn implies higher average speeds, which will make the rougher parts more demanding still. It's a factor we have taken into account in our preparation."

Sainz said: "It's more a tyre rally than a rally for a specific type of car. If you get your choice right and the weather isn't too fickle, everything should go well. That's the most critical thing to get right. And in any case, the Xsara is now nicely balanced and quick everywhere."

But while the rally's revised slot makes warmer temperatures more likely, wet weather cannot be ruled out. Given the current tyre regulations, Vaucard said the team has had to cover all the possibilities.

"It will be necessary to take a chance in the hope that you have made the right choice. If the weather proves changeable, we will need to adapt as quickly and as effectively as possible to the rapid changes in grip."

Loeb vowed to be on all cylinders in pursuit of a win, "Like I am every time," he said, "perhaps even more so. That's often how it is with rallies I enjoy. We will have to wait to see whether it is possible."

Team-mate Sainz was just as determined to claim a win.

"The fact that Citroen leads the Manufacturers' standings and that I am fourth in the Drivers' classification hasn't changed my objective which, as usual, is to win! I will do all I can to succeed in that or else to finish on the podium once again!"