Loeb was chasing WRC victory 79 when his Citroen DS3 WRC slid off a greasy SS15 last Sunday and came to rest update down in a ditch.
“Daniel’s last pace note to me was ‘right, 150, 8, tightens, 130 plus plus’ followed by ‘voila’, which means ‘that’s it’, when we were finished on the roof,” Loeb told wrc.com.
The accident meant the pair missed the finish podium ceremony on Sunday afternoon. However a surprise presentation straight after [above] gave the thousands of fans packed into Strasbourg’s Zenith centre the chance to give them a proper send off.
In front of a packed house, Loeb and Elena’s achievements were honoured in a series of films and tributes from key figures from their WRC careers, including former Citroen boss and mentor Guy Frequelin. Even Loeb’s first Citroen Saxo rally car made an appearance.
Before the presentation, Loeb revealed that the rally was the setting for his most treasured WRC memory.
“My best moment was in France in 2010, when I won the rally and with it both championships,” he said. “It was an incredible moment, the first time the rally was here in the Alsace and with the last stage in my hometown. It was something I could not have imagined a few years before. Doing what we did in front of my friends, the fans and my family - that was great.”
And before his switch to a World Touring Car programme with Citroen next year, Loeb admitted that he would miss the thrill of driving a World Rally Car.
“For sure I will miss it. The feeling that you have in the car is something that is unique to the WRC. You slide, you jump, you have some incredible sensations that you just don’t have in racing," he said.
“Another thing is Daniel. I shared everything in my career with him. Now maybe I will feel alone in the car. But at least with Daniel I will have the opportunity to continue to see him outside of rally. But the feeling you have in the car - I won’t have it.”