The first practice runs came with a warning from the event’s race director, who invited the drivers to take extra care, since water from melting roadside snow had frozen overnight.
Following an engine bench test and a shakedown run at a nearby ‘Speedway’, Loeb familiarised himself with the course accompanied by his long-time WRC co-driver Daniel Elena, before tackling the solo practice runs.
Peugeot Sport’s director Bruno Famin said the weekend test was positive.
“Our ‘beast’ seems to suit Sebastien, to the extent that we have hardly made any changes to its set-up.”
Loeb said he was feeling very confident with the car.
“We are already getting close to the limit in many places,” Loeb said. “All we need to do now is make some detail changes and we will be ready for the big day.”
Weighing 875kg and powered by a twin-turbo 3.2-litre V6, the Peugeot 208 T16 can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 1.8 seconds and reach 200km/h in 4.8 seconds.