"Since the Rally of Catalunya and the announcement of Citroën's comeback in 2007, explained Guy Fréquelin, "the whole team, including Sébastien, was motivated and very impatient to see the C4 WRC drive again."
For the first real tarmac test of the C4 WRC, Citroën Sport wished to benefit from good and stable weather conditions. For that reason, the team chose a road in the South of France, going from the 'Col de Gratteloup' to 'Roquebrune' in the Var region.
The weather was fantastic for the first two days when Philippe Bugalski, Citroën Sport's test driver, covered over three hundred kilometres without a single problem.
The weather conditions had worsened by the third morning, but Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena could drive a short while on dry roads. The rest of the test was completed on very slippery roads as it started to rain heavily.
After his very first contact with his future car, Sébastien Loeb gave his impression: "After a few kilometres, I felt confident despite the tricky road conditions. The car is well-born and easy to drive."
"It's a Citroën and it has been designed according to the WRC regulations, which means there are similar points with my usual car, such as the engine noise for example."
"Regarding the handling, I would say the suspension works well as far as vertical travel is concerned, which makes the car comfortable and efficient. The general balance is really different from what I know. C4 seems to be at ease in the slow sections."
"Generally speaking I think we have an excellent basis to start working... and that I enjoyed very much this first time," he said.
Chief engineer Xavier Mestelan-Pinon was waiting with great anticipation for the two-times-World-champion's analysis.
"Seb has discovered a car of a different size with wide tracks as allowed by the regulations, new ergonomics inside the car, and a driving position further off the windscreen.
For the technical team, the first kilometres of a driver behind the wheel of a new car will produce a huge quantity of information. Furthermore we experienced changeable road conditions, and so we've found what we were looking for."