Sat 02 Jul 2022

Loeb eyes Acropolis return

Sébastien Loeb’s next FIA World Rally Championship appearance could come at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece (8 - 11 September).

The nine-time world champion is tackling selected rounds this year with M-Sport Ford. He scored a stunning win in January’s season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo before competing in Portugal and then Safari Rally Kenya last weekend.

The Frenchman has a busy schedule in several different disciplines but asked whether a return to the Acropolis was on the cards, he said it was an option.

“Maybe. I still have to adjust the calendar, it’s quite tricky at this time of the season,” he explained.

An appearance at Spain’s RallyRACC - Rally de España (20 - 23 October) looks less likely. The Andalucia Rally, a round of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship in which Loeb competes, was last month switched to the same date as the asphalt WRC fixture.

“I also wanted to go maybe to Spain but finally it wasn’t possible because we have another rally in cross-country at the same time, so we’ll have to adjust the calendar,” Loeb added.

The 48-year-old has won three times in Greece from 11 starts. His first success came in a Citroën Xsara in 2005 before adding further victories in a C4 three years later and a DS 3 in 2021.

After winning Friday morning’s opening Loldia speed test in Kenya, Loeb was in the thick of a tight fight at the front before a small fire in his Ford Puma Rally1’s engine bay at the end of SS4. He eventually restarted but the car stopped shortly afterwards and he retired.

He rejoined on Saturday and finished eighth after claiming three stage victories.

“It was just a small tube that started to leak and this meant the car wouldn’t start,” he explained.

“I am a bit frustrated about the overall classification, because I think our speed was quite good and we were able to fight in the front. We didn’t do it [win] but we did some good times and that’s not so bad.”

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