Monday | 29 Oct 2018

Loeb contemplates WRC return

Sébastien Loeb hinted at a possible WRC return next season after a remarkable victory in Spain on Sunday that he labelled as one of his best ever.

The nine-time world champion edged Sébastien Ogier, his successor as title holder, by 2.9sec to win a thrill-a-minute RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España and then suggested he could be back to partner his fellow Frenchman in 2019.

“My future is to do this maybe. I don’t know, it’s not clear for the moment my future,” the 44-year-old said after securing Citroën’s first WRC victory for 12 months on the mixed surface Costa Daurada roads.

Loeb switched to world rallycross with PSA stablemate Peugeot after ending his full-time WRC career in 2012. His future in that discipline is in doubt and he has clearly enjoyed his three-round rally programme this year with Citroën in Mexico, Corsica and Spain.

“Peugeot retired from rallycross so I have to look what I will do now,” added Loeb, who appeared close to tears after clinching his first WRC victory since May 2013.

He has previously made it clear he would not consider a full-time WRC return but another part-time programme could appeal.

Sunday's victory was Sébastien Loeb's ninth in Spain

Citroën team principal Pierre Budar last month signed Ogier for 2019 from M-Sport Ford and admitted reuniting the former team-mates would be ‘the cherry on the cake’.

Loeb’s ninth Spanish win came 16 years and two months after his first victory in Germany in 2002 and the magnitude of his 79th triumph was not lost on him.

“Right now, given how the rally panned out, I’d be tempted to say it’s perhaps my greatest win. It was an almighty scrap, right to the bitter end. When I saw I had won on the display at the end of the final stage, it was a truly incredible feeling,” he said.

“It’s really nice to have managed to be on the pace again after all these years, because the guys haven’t stood still while I’ve been away.”


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