Sebastien Loeb can move a step closer to a record ninth consecutive World Rally Championship crown if he claims a sixth win in a row on this weekend's Wales Rally GB.

The Frenchman is running away with this year's championship after stringing together victories in Argentina, Greece, New Zealand, Finland and Germany, and the only man who can realistically deny him the title is Citroen team-mate Mikko Hirvonen.

Loeb is 54 points clear of the Finn with just four rounds remaining, and has emerged triumphant on four previous occasions in Britain.

Citroen can also wrap up an eighth manufacturers' crown if Loeb and Hirvonen can score six points more than their rivals on the Cardiff-based event, which has been moved forward from its traditional November date.

Loeb secured his eighth title in Wales last season, despite being forced to retire after crashing into a car driven by a spectator, and is unsurprisingly in confident mood this time around.

He said: "It's a rally that I like and we've got some good memories from the last few years.

"This year, it would be good to win and secure an eighth world title for the team. That would also make us ideally placed to win a ninth championship at the Rallye de France.

"However, I'm not obsessed by that, by any means. I'll be approaching this rally just like any other."

Team boss Yves Matton is keen to get the title sewn up as quickly as possible, but is wary that Ford will pose a far greater threat on the gravel roads of the principality than they did on the asphalt tests in Germany last time out.

"Having a chance of winning the manufacturers' title with four rallies to go demonstrates the quality of the work done by the team since the start of the season.

"Having said that, we won't allow ourselves to get too carried away. We are all too aware how strong our rivals are on this kind of surface to do that.

"We are expecting it to be a difficult race, during which tyre management may well play a key role, depending on the weather."