Loeb, who can win a ninth WRC drivers’ crown on Rallye de France Alsace next week, will only contest a partial WRC campaign with the factory Citroen team next year as it works towards a possible FIA World Touring Car Championship programme from 2014 with Loeb potentially at the wheel of one of its challengers.
Speaking at the Paris Motor Show yesterday, Loeb said: “On the one hand I thought about calming things down and stopping, but on the other hand I didn't want to feel like I was retired. So now we have a new challenge and a different style of driving, about which myself and Citroen still have a lot to learn, and that is very exciting.”
Of his decision to reduce his WRC schedule, the 38-year-old added: “The driving bit is the strongest part of rallying: in terms of the sensations you feel and the way you have to improvise with the car. But then again I’ve been there for a number of years and won everything. Now there is the opportunity of a new project with Citroen, who I’ve won everything together with in rallying, and that is the ideal solution.”
Who should replace Loeb full time at Citroen? WRC.com has compiled a shortlist of 10 drivers that could partner Citroen’s new team leader Mikko Hirvonen in 2013 and now is the time to register your vote. Simply click here to vote and keep visiting WRC.com for more polls.