Sebastien Loeb says he is thrilled that his final Monte Carlo Rally looks set to be the first heavily snow-affected Monte of his career.
The Frenchman, who is the most successful driver in the history of the French Alpine classic with six wins from nine starts, admitted to a strange feeling at the start of what will be his last ever season in the WRC.
Loeb will contest just four rounds with Citroen in 2013.
"The feeling is a bit this year," said Loeb. "I thought for such a long time about whether to retire and now the decision is done - but I am also very excited about the other challenges with Citroen this year.
"And it's exciting to be here for the start of this rally. I never did a really snowy Monte Carlo. It was always some snow in this stage and half of the next stage, but for now there is a lot more snow in many of the stages."
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Despite his limited programme, Loeb insists his motivation to chase a seventh Monte win remains the same.
"I am taking everything just as seriously," he said. "I will try to fight, but if not then it's not so bad as in the past. I am here for fun and in these conditions it can be a lot of fun."
Heavy snow fell on the service park in Valence on Tuesday morning and further snowfalls are expected in the Drome region and in the Alpes Maritimes – the area the rally moves to later in the week.