Sebastien Loeb will return to the World Rally Championship in 2018 with the Citroen team for a three round program starting with Rally Mexico
The 9-time world champion has recently tested the C3 WRC on asphalt and gravel and has decided to make a comeback to the sport he last drove in back in 2015 where he lead Rally Monte Carlo. Citroen is only running two cars next year, one full-time entry for Kris Meeke and another for Craig Breen who will sit out the three rallies that Loeb is set to enter.
“Everyone was pleased after the test sessions done this year – myself first and foremost – and these three appearances were the next logical step,” said Loeb.
“The feeling you get in rallying is one of the most thrilling feelings I have ever experienced, and I was excited about driving one of these new WRCs [competitively]. And it’s nice to be able to do it in the team with which I have enjoyed so much success.”
Loeb was touted as a potential driver for Toyota’s return to the WRC this year but ultimately it chose Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hanninen. Loeb will contest the Dakar Rally and World Rallycross Championship with sister brand Peugeot in 2018 alongside the WRC appearances with Citroen. Team principal Yves Matton said Loeb could not have returned to the championship with anyone other than Citroen.
“Seb confirmed he has lost none of his speed and skill during the test sessions, although he is bound to be short of knowledge of the stages and time in the car, compared with the increasingly tough competition,” Matton added.
Citroen had a difficult 2017 campaign as its full factory outfit returned after a year out in 2016. Kris Meeke won two rallies but accidents and car problems meant they finished last of the manufacturers. The aim this year will be to turn that around and give Meeke his first WRC title.
Feature Image Credit: WRC Media Site