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Thu 08 Sep 2022

10 Years on and Loeb is back

M-Sport Ford Puma tried and tested, Sébastien Loeb is ready for his EKO Acropolis Rally Greece (8 - 11 September) return.

And the last time he was here, driving a Citroën DS 3 WRC in 2012, he won.

“I’m looking forward to being back,” Loeb said. “It will be the first time for 10 years, so I’m looking forward to seeing the stages and the people again. I have good memories from this rally.

“For me, the test went well. It was a good feeling with the car – everything was correct and quite good. We worked with the set-up for the suspension, the diffs and the hybrid – this was all going quite well. I’m happy after the test. The car was working well, everything is OK and now we’re ready for the rally.”

Loeb admitted his three previous triumphs at the legendary fixture may not be much help this time around. He and co-driver Isabelle Galmiche had to work hard during the recce to craft brand-new pace notes.

"It's a very different rally now and they are all new stages for me, so it was hard work in the recce," he said. "It's a nice event and the stages are interesting. We need to find a rhythm because it's a long time since I drove the car competitively, but I am happy to be here."

• Full coverage from EKO Acropolis Rally Greece will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

The nine-time world champion ran the Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid in Greece last month and declared himself happy and ready for a fourth outing with the British team this season.

Loeb won the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo in an M-Sport Puma and impressed with fastest times in Portugal, Italy and Kenya. This week’s EKO Acropolis Rally Greece will be his first time back at one of the season’s iconic events in a decade.

This morning's (Thursday) shakedown didn't exactly go to plan for the Frenchman as the car developed a mystery misfire before his third run of the stage. Back in service, mechanics traced the issue to an electrical fault, which has now been rectified ready for the start later today.

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