All you need is Loeb
In Britain the sport has slipped away from the attention of most Britons, to the point where if you asked a member of the public who Sebastien Loeb is, they would probably not know.
So, who is Sebastien Loeb? Loeb is the most successful rally driver of all time and last weekend he clinched his ninth World Rally Championship in a row. Loeb and long standing co-driver Daniel Elena took the title as they had done in 2010 at their home event in
Loeb and Elena came into the WRC in 2002 as Junior World Rally Champions and while they did not compete in all the events that year, they still took their first win. It came as a bit of a surprise that after completing the full season in 2003, Loeb lost out on the title by one point to Subaru’s Petter Solberg.
Since then he has obliterated the competition and become the most successful driver in any form of world motor sport with nine titles to his name and has taken more than double the number of victories than the next successful driver, Marcus Gronholm.
Such has been the dominance of the Citroen pairing that even when Loeb broke his leg in 2006, he was still able to comfortably retain his title despite missing two events.
In September Loeb announced that he will be taking a step back from rallying in 2013 and only competing in a select number of events with a mind to trying his hand in other forms of motorsport such as the World Touring Cars (WTCC) and the Le Mans 24 hour race. At thirty-eight, Loeb still has plenty of racing left in him and all in the WTCC will be only too aware of this.
While his thoughts turn to new projects, many in the rallying world know that not only could Loeb add to his number of wins, but with his raw pace and consistency he could even add another title and make it ten in a row.
By Sam Heath