MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

Loeb shines on WRC return but insists WTCC is his focus for 2015

WTCC ace Sébastien Loeb made a heroic return to the FIA World Rally Championship on Rallye Monte-Carlo last week but insisted the outing was a one-off.Loeb for fun

Citroën’s double FIA World Touring Car Championship race winner was back in the WRC for the first time since his switch to the WTCC for the 2014 season.

He led for six stages and set five fastest stage times. And the 40-year-old French legend could have won had he not accidentally hit a rock in difficult stage conditions, forcing his exit from leg two of the iconic event.

“We enjoyed that,” said Loeb, who restarted on leg three and finished eighth overall alongside co-driver Daniel Elena. “We managed to find the pace and the Citroën DS 3 WRC was perfect. It was as if Daniel and I had never been away! I was very pleasantly surprised by the feeling and the times we set right from the word go. The first two legs were nonetheless very difficult, but we had to push given we were 14th in the running order. The conditions didn’t really work in our favour and a minor mistake proved very costly. But that takes nothing away from the fun we had. It was a really great experience.”

Despite his impressive pace, the nine-time world champion insisted there would be no more WRC action this season. “There’s no plan for me to do another event,” he said. “This was just a good time in the year for me to do it, as it is in the winter and there is nothing else going on.”

Loeb will open his 2015 WTCC account in Argentina from 6-8 March.