Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team have confirmed that nine-time FIA World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena will be returning to the WRC next season for three rallies with the French manufacturer.
The rally legend last competed in 2015 when he took eighth place in the 83ème Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo and while that weekend wasn’t one to remember, recent tests for the Frenchman have led to his return to the team that took him to his nine titles, even if it is only for three rallies.
“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 rally is one of the most thrilling feelings I have ever experienced, and I was excited about driving one of these new WRCs in a race. And it’s nice to be able to do it in the team with which I have enjoyed so much success! 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.”
Citroën Racing Team Principal Yves Matton added, “I’m also delighted to see that there will be another chapter in the great history between Sébastien Loeb and Citroën: he couldn’t have returned to the WRC with anyone other than us!”
“Seb confirmed that he has lost none of his speed and skill during the test sessions completed, although he is bound to be short of knowledge of the stages and time in the car, compared with the increasingly tough competition”
Since his last full season in WRC in 2012, Loeb has taken part a variety of series including, FIA GT and World Touring Car Championship where he took victories in both series. He secured second place in the 2017 Dakar rally on his second attempt and for the last two years has been competing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship with Team Peugeot-Hansen.