Driver

LOEB SHINES ON WRC RETURN IN MEXICO

Team Peugeot Total FIA World Rallycross Championship driver Sebastian Loeb warmed up for the upcoming season in fine style by securing a top five finish on his return to the highest level in rallying on the Rally Mexico last weekend. 

While Loeb has focused his attentions on rallycross since making the full-time switch to the series in 2016, the nine-time World Rally Championship title winner was making a return to the series driving a Citroen C3 WRC in the first of a handful of outings he is scheduled to make in 2018.

His first WRC start since the 2015 Monte Carlo Rally, Loeb nonetheless hit the ground running from the opening stages, even beginning the third day of competition in the lead.

However, despite setting three fastest stage times, Loeb’s hopes of victory or even a podium finish were dashed by a puncture on stage 14, on Saturday afternoon. Forced to stop in the stage to change the deflated tyre, Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena lost more than two minutes and dropped to fifth, where they would finish. 

"Coming into the rally, I felt that testing had gone well, but I obviously had no certainty about my level,” said Loeb, who will race for Team Peugeot Total in World RX this year alongside Sweden’s Timmy Hansen. 

“There were two successive corners with stones on the inside of the bend. We went over them a little and one of them proved fatal. It was a nice surprise to be on the pace, I'm just a bit frustrated that I wasn't able to test myself properly against the others right to the end because of the puncture. In any case, it was a very good weekend and that was the initial aim of this comeback.” 

Loeb's 2018 season will see him dovetailing his full-time commitment in the World Rallycross Championship with several WRC outings, with the 2016 World RX of Latvia winner next seen in the C3 for his home round in Corsica.

Loeb will return to the wheel of a rallycross Supercar this weekend, as he gives the 2018 Peugeot 208 WRX its competition debut in the first round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship at Silverstone.

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