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Sebastien Loeb returns to WRC

By Scott Newman, 21 Dec 2017 News

Sebastien Loeb returns to WRC cover

Most successful rally driver ever to compete in three 2018 rounds

The king is back. Sebastien Loeb will return to the World Rally Championship in 2018 with Citroen.

The 43-year-old Frenchman will compete on just three rallies - Mexico, Spain and Corsica - supporting Citroen's lead driver Kris Meeke, who will compete on all 13 rounds, while Craig Breen will drive on the 10 events Loeb misses and team sponsor Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi will also compete on selected rounds.

Loeb is the most successful driver in the history of the WRC with 78 wins, 116 podiums and nine straight titles, remaining unbeaten from 2004 to his retirement from full-time competition at the end of 2012. He last competed at the 2015 Rally Monte Carlo, an event he led before crashing out on stage eight.

Citroen C3 WRC 1Since retiring from rallying Loeb has competed in FIA GT3, Porsche Supercar, the World Touring Car Championship, World Rallycross and the Dakar Rally, yet a test last year during Citroen's troubled 2017 WRC campaign was the first sign that a return to rallying was on the cards.

Loeb has stated recently that no discipline he has sampled since has delivered the same excitement as rallying: "The feeling you get in rally is one of the most thrilling feelings I've ever experience, and I was excited about driving one of these new WRCs in a race. I don't have any expectations, I just want to enjoy myself."

Citroen C3 WRC 2Though he will be the oldest driver in the championship, Citroen Racing boss Yves Matton is adamant Loeb will be competitive: "Seb confirmed he has lost none of this speed and skill during the [2017] test sessions, although he is bound to be short of knowledge of the stages and time in the car compared with the increasingly tough competition."

The 2018 WRC season begins in Monte Carlo on January 25.