Team Citroen rally drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Sebastien Loeb have confessed to practicing with new softer tyres for the upcoming Monte Carlo Rally.
The pair are set to compete in the race on January 18th as part of the World Rally Championship 2012.
Yet while Hirvonen has previously tasted victory in a Ford Fiesta S2000 at the event, this time round he will be starting from Valence for the first time in three years.
His previous victory came in the French Alpine class during his second season in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge a few years ago.
Loeb meanwhile comes into the race as defending world champion, with six wins at the stage.
Despite this, Loeb remains focused on achieving victory at the prestigious race, explaining his focus in a recent interview with Autosport.com.
"It's the comeback of Monte Carlo this season and it's important for me to see the rally back. It's like normal," he said.
The driver assured fans that both he and Hirvonen had tested their driving skills, and their skills on the team's new softer tyres, in a range of weather conditions.
"We have new softer tyres than we have used before [for the Monte Carlo Rally] and we have been trying to find the best set-up for each situation," he said.