Sébastien Loeb rolled back the years during last weekend’s Rallye Monte Carlo as he took his eightieth career World Rally Championship victory alongside co-driver Isabelle Galmiche.
For Galmiche, as well, it was a historic day as she became the first female co-driver to take victory in the WRC for twenty-five years as she helped Loeb take six stage victories on his way to the overall win.
Loeb has been a relative part-timer in rallying in recent years but took his M-Sport Ford World Rally Team to victory on board the Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1, the first time the car raced in the WRC.
“I’m really happy, I didn’t expect so much,” said Loeb afterwards. “When I came here, I didn’t really know what to expect, I was just hoping I would be in a good rhythm and able to fight with the guys in the front.
“In the end it was more than we expected, we were able to fight with [Sébastien] Ogier to boast for the win, and to finally win the rally at the end like this is just amazing.”
Loeb took the last of his nine WRC titles back in 2012 having debuted in WRC all the way back in 1999, but for him, he was happy to be in contention against some of the biggest names in modern day rallying.
“It comes ten years after my last championship, I haven’t done too many rallies since then, so to still be able to fight is just a great moment and I’m really proud of what we did,” he added. “With Isabelle it was a very good weekend, she did a good job.
“The feeling with the car has been good since my first test and that gave me some confidence, but I didn’t really know what level I would be at, but now we have the confirmation that we are able to fight at the front so it’s just exceptional for us.
“A big thanks to all the team, they did a great job and the car was perfect all weekend, so a big thank you to everybody.”