Back in July 2017, Sebastien Loeb got back behind the wheel of a Citroen World Rally Car. He re-joined the team as a test driver and rumors of a comeback came about. Now, it is official as the nine-time champion will be running select rallies for the 2018 season.
For the 2018 WRC season, Loeb will be running three races. He will be participating in the gravel stages of Rally Mexico, the high-speed asphalt roads of Rally Corsica (France), and Rally Espana, which boasts both tarmac and dirt stages. Loeb will be paired with longtime co-driver, Daniel Elena and will take on the three rallies with the C3 WRC racer.
Regarding his comeback, Loeb said, “I don’t have any expectations, I just want to enjoy myself. I thought it made sense to take part in the French round, especially since I’ve always loved racing on tarmac, although I’m not familiar with the current route of the Tour de Corse. Spain seemed like a good option too. And although I’m expecting it to be pretty tough given the time that has passed since I last competed there, I also wanted to contest a gravel rally. We opted for Mexico, since I have good memories of racing there and the route hasn't changed too much since I was last involved in the championship.”
The pairing of Loeb and Elena will see Craig Breen and Scott Martin sitting out Rally Mexico, Rally Corsica and Rally Espana. However, Breen will compete for the remainder of the rallies, meaning he will be running 10 of the 13 rounds. Meanwhile, the duo of Kris Meeke and co-driver Paul Nagle will run the full schedule, meaning all 13 rallies.
Besides the nine championship titles, Loeb has several records under his belt. Prior to his retirement in WRC back in 2012, Loeb amassed 78 career wins with 116 podiums in 169 starts. Out of those starts, Loeb also has 909 individual stage wins, along with 1,625 points under his belt.