Loeb, who clinched his ninth world crown in France last month, is unlikely to contest more than five rounds of the WRC in 2013 before he embarks on a planned switch to the FIA World Touring Car Championship for 2014.
“A chapter is undoubtedly set to close this weekend,” said the Citroen ace. “I’ll be in Monte- Carlo when the 2013 championship gets underway, but it won’t be the same [because I won’t be fighting for the title]. I don’t think that I feel any regret or sadness, because my decision to stop rallying doesn’t signal the end of my career. With Citroen, we are preparing to take on new challenges and I am really looking forward to committing fully to them. For the time being, however, let’s try and win this rally.”
Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena have won in Catalunya on seven previous occasions and are the favourites to extend that winning run when the event begins with the Qualifying Stage on Thursday morning.