Monday | 24 Nov 2014

Loeb returns for Rallye Monte Carlo

Fourteen months after he retired from the World Rally Championship, Sebastien Loeb is set to make a sensational comeback driving a DS3 World Rally Car at Rallye Monte Carlo (22-25 January) - the opening round of the 2015 season.

The Frenchman, 40, will be reunited with co-driver Daniel Elena, with whom he has won Rallye Monte Carlo seven times before, most recently in 2013.

The pair will join Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle as the two points-nominated crews for Citroen, which from next year will compete under the DS banner.

“I have to say I didn’t hesitate for a second when I was offered the chance to compete,” said Loeb, who drove a Citroën C-Elysée to third place in this year’s World Touring Car Championship. 

“I think Daniel and I would agree that Monte-Carlo is one of our favourite events. The beautiful roads, the fact of having to gamble when it comes to tyre choice and the party atmosphere that you get on the stages: we can’t wait to experience it all again!

Loeb won his most recent Monte Carlo outing in 2013

“And of course, it’s an honour to support DS in this new chapter of its history. With the DS 3 WRC – “the little racer” as I nicknamed it when it was first released – I have a lot of good memories; I hope that the 2015 Monte-Carlo will provide yet another. Obviously, it’s going to be a personal challenge for me, as I haven’t competed in a rally for over a year.”

Loeb’s preparations will begin this weekend when he will tackle the French Rallye du Var, with wife Severine calling notes. “That will give me the chance to reacquaint myself with the car,” he said. “We have also managed to find a few slots in my schedule so I can take part in testing. I’m absolutely delighted about this opportunity to meet up with the big rallying family during the FIA WTCC off-season!”

Loeb is by far the WRC’s most successful competitor, and when he bowed out in 2013, he did so with nine consecutive drivers’ titles to his name and 78 wins.

Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal said: “The teams are buzzing with pride at the idea of supporting a new brand in racing. And when I told them today that Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena would be driving a DS 3 WRC at Rallye Monte-Carlo, the news was greeted with great enthusiasm! With seven wins here, Seb and Daniel are undeniably the event’s greatest specialists, and I’m sure that they will be extremely competitive.”

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