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Loeb remains coy about WRC return

Sebastien Loeb

Bengaluru, October 30: After turning the clock back with a stunning win in the Rally of Spain, the grapevine is that Sebastien Loeb might make a return in the World Rally Championship (WRC) next season.

The Frenchman is inarguably the sport's most successful driver with nine WRC titles and 79 wins and the victory in Spain proved why he is widely considered the greatest of all time.

In Spain, The 44-year-old was possibly making his final guest appearance of the season with Citroen Racing. Loeb who had retired from full-time WRC competition in 2012, last stood on the winners' podium in Argentina in 2013. He had also competed in Dakar Rally with Puegeot support.

But after the win, talks about his return is doing rounds in the paddock circles. However, Loeb remained tight-lipped about the rumours.

"I didn't have time to think yet about what is coming for next year," Loeb was quoted as saying in an interview with WRC Media.

Another planet

Another planet

Six years back Loeb stopped full-time rallying and walked away from the WRC as the sport's most successful driver. Nine titles and 78 wins didn't just set him apart from his rivals, those numbers placed him firmly on another planet.

The next year, he came back and won two of the four events he started. But that 78th trip to the podium's top step in Argentina was widely accepted as the end of the road story for the Frenchman.

Nice feeling

Nice feeling

Sure, he would come back for the odd rally here and there. But win? That was not on the agenda till the Rally of Spain happened.

"For sure I enjoyed the weekend. It was a really nice feeling to fight again and win the rally. This is where I feel better, more than any other discipline," Loeb said as he celebrated the win with his co-driver Daniel Elena

Guest appearance

Guest appearance

Since his retirement, Leob has made guest appearances in World Touring Car Championship as well in the gruelling Dakar Rally. But he was candid while admitting the challenges of committing himself to a full season.

"In another way, I know why I retired. It's because you do only rallying and it's a lot of time and involvement. It's not what I want today and coming back, even for some rallies, is complicated as well. We have to see."

Emotional win

Emotional win

After the win in Spain, Loeb became quite emotional which reminded everyone of his victory in Finland in 2008 and he had his reasons for it

"I think the comparison can be because it was a fight to the end on that event in Finland also, it was a big fight right until the end with a really close gap and that makes it always a bit special. In my career there were not so many small gaps and that's what helps to make this one even better."

(With WRC Media inputs)

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    Story first published: Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 11:25 [IST]
    Other articles published on Oct 30, 2018
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