Sébastien Loeb, who finished 80th this weekend in Monaco and for the first time with a Ford car, has made a more than successful return to the World Cup.
Before the start of the weekend Monte Carlo Rally, many fans must have wondered how Sébastien Loeb, a returnee on the competition track, who last started in the world in Turkey in 2020 and has since devoted himself to desert rallies in the Bahrain Raid Xtreme behind the wheel of the BRX Hunter. and especially this year he did very well in Dakar when he took second place. Given the dates of both competitions, it can be said with less exaggeration that Loeb emptied the sand from his racing shoes and immediately set off for the start of the Monaco competition, where he made his M-Sport special debut, fulfilling not only Malcolm Wilson’s dream of a legendary Frenchman. team car from British Cumbria. Behind the wheel of the Puma Rally1 right from the start, the Haguenau native showed that he had not forgotten any of his art and that the weaker performances with the i20 WRC are forgotten. When the defect slowed down the still leading Seb Ogier in the penultimate test, Seb Loeb returned to the front and kept it, thus claiming the jubilee 80th victory in the World Championship, he became the oldest winner of the competition in the championship and also the driver who imagines the longest rally, for 20 years have passed without his first and so far last victory.
Therefore, it is no wonder that Sébastien Loeb shone with satisfaction at the finish: “It’s clear I’m very happy. I had no idea what to expect before the start. But I felt good from the first test and it gave me confidence. But it was still a question of how I would stand compared to the others. I didn’t know that. The level in the World Championships is sometimes really high, but we still decided to start in Monaco and the result is amazing, it’s much more than we could have expected, everything worked great in our first rally – the team, Isabelle, just everything. Great,” says the winner of this year’s Monte Carlo Rally and adds a change in the right seat, “Isabelle did very well. Maybe only once, twice a little slower, but only a little bit. These cars are not easy for the co-drivers, we literally fly after the tests and she has to read a lot of schedule data. She kept a good reading rhythm and understood that How to give me information. She also needed to take care of a lot of things, and she did well. Isabelle has a lot of experience from the French Championship, but you have to take care of a lot more things at the World Championships. She did a fantastic job. “ complements the co-driver’s rating of a nine-time world champion.
When the later winner looks back on the course of the competition, he admits that he has never wandered around and drove quite close to his maximum, but still in such a way as to be as safe as possible: “I was approaching the limit all the time. I felt better in some tests, I searched a bit somewhere. In some slippery places I may not have done quite optimally. Everything worked perfectly on Friday, the car was great, the spies did a good job, so I could go into it at the same time and drive safely. Saturday was more about the other Seb, and although I was still on the limit, he was a little faster. But I enjoyed it. “ As we mentioned, due to Ogier’s defect, Loeb got back in the lead after the penultimate rehearsal, so PowerStage could still bring drama. However, Loeb drove faster than Ogier and was able to celebrate the victory. However, it is uncertain what the Frenchman’s next plans will be, he answered this question in the press release after the Monte Carlo Rally: “I’m in charge of the World Cup now. But we have no more plans now.” In the end, we can only add that Seb Loeb will probably not age, because this year he managed to draw a somersault on the finish ramp this year as well.
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