Loeb’s Monte preparations begin in France
Former champion will tackle the Rallye du Var
At the wheel of a Citroën DS3 World Rally Car, and co-driven by his wife Severine, Loeb led the 12-stage rally from beginning to end, racking up his third Var win - his second alongside Severine.
Torrential rain on Friday's opening day and more wet conditions on Saturday and Sunday made the all-asphalt rally, the final round of the French Championship, particularly challenging.
A poor tyre choice from Loeb on Saturday morning allowed two-time French Champion Julien Maurin to get within 10 seconds of his lead, but Loeb pulled ahead in the afternoon, to end the day with a 30.6sec advantage.
When Maurin put his Fiesta WRC off on Sunday’s opener, Loeb’s victory was all but assured. He finished 3m07.7s clear of David Salanon’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC in second, with Patrick Magnou third, a further 1m14.5s back in a Peugeot 206 WRC.
Loeb said: ”Conditions were really not easy, so I'm happy to win this rally. It was super to win it with my wife - and for the first time in the DS3 WRC! It was always tricky, but we managed well and the tires worked well. I had a good final morning and I found a good feeling. There was less water near the end, so we could push even though it was still slippery.
“Although I paid an error in the choice of tires, we found our pace gradually. It's been a while since I had taken part in a rally and it was a real pleasure to make my comeback at the Rallye du Var."