Sébastien Loeb

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Sébastien Loeb
Sebastien loeb spafrancorchamps2014.JPG
Nationality  French
Born (1974-02-26) 26 February 1974 (age 40)
Haguenau, Alsace, France
2014 World Touring Car Championship
Debut season 2014
Current team Citroën Total WTCC
Car no. 9
Starts 13
Wins 2
Poles 0
Fastest laps 2
Previous series
2013
2013
2010
2008–09, 11–12
2008–13
Porsche Supercup
FIA GT Series
International GT Open
Porsche Carrera Cup France
French GT Championship
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1999–2013
Teams Citroën, Kronos Citroën
Rallies 168
Championships 9 (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Rally wins 78
Podiums 116
Stage wins 900
Total points 1619
First rally 1999 Rally Catalunya
First win 2002 Rallye Deutschland
Last win 2013 Rally Argentina
Last rally 2013 Rallye de France-Alsace
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 2005–2006
Teams Pescarolo Sport
Best finish 2nd (2006)
Class wins 0

Sébastien Loeb (French pronunciation: ​[sebastjɛ̃ lœb]; born 26 February 1974) is a French rally and racing driver. He competed for the Citroën World Rally Team in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and is the most successful driver in WRC history, having won the world championship a record nine times in a row. He holds several other WRC records, including most wins, most podium finishes and most points. Loeb announced his retirement from World Rallying in the end of the 2012 season. Participating in selected events in the 2013 WRC season, he raced a full season in the FIA GT Series driving a McLaren MP4-12C before moving on with Citroen to the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2014.

Originally a gymnast, Loeb switched to rallying in 1995 and won the Junior World Rally Championship in 2001. Signed by the Citroën factory team for the 2002 season, he and co-driver Daniel Elena took their maiden WRC win that same year at the Rallye Deutschland. After finishing runner-up to Petter Solberg by one point in 2003, Loeb took his first drivers' title in 2004. Continuing with Citroën, he went on to take a record ninth consecutive world title in 2012. Loeb is a tarmac expert, having won all but three WRC rallies on that surface since 2005.

Besides his success in rallying, Loeb is a three-time winner at the Race of Champions, after taking home the Henri Toivonen Memorial Trophy and the title "Champion of Champions" in 2003, 2005 and 2008. In 2004, he won the Nations' Cup for France with Jean Alesi. In 2006, he finished second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Loeb was named the French Sportsman of the Year in 2007 and 2009, and made knight of the Legion of Honour (Légion d'honneur) in 2009. In 2012, he won the Rallycross final in his first appearance at X Games XVIII.

Career[edit]

Rallying[edit]

Early career[edit]

Loeb and Elena at the 2001 Rally Finland

Loeb was born in Haguenau, Alsace, France, the only child of Guy and Ingrid Loeb (who died in 2005 and 2012, respectively)[1] and grew up in Oberhoffen-sur-Moder. He competed as gymnast and became a four-time Alsatian champion, once champion of the French Grand East, and fifth in the French championship.[2] He broke off school in 1992 but resumed taking classes in 1994, aiming at vocational training in electrical engineering. On 12 September 1994, in parallel with his classes, he started working as an electrician at the Socalec company near Haguenau Airport, where he was the oldest apprentice and already noted for his daring/reckless driving style and his tendency not to be punctual. He could count, though, on the understanding of his boss, who was himself fascinated by speed and owned a Ferrari Testarossa 512 TR.[3]

In 1995, at age 21, he quit his job and classes and definitely turned his attention to racing. In 1998, he started entering events in the French Citroën Saxo Trophy series, winning the title in 1999. Guy Fréquelin, Citroën Sport's team principal, would serve as Loeb's mentor as he entered the Junior World Rally Championship in 2001, becoming the series' first champion by winning five of the six events. The only event he didn't win this year was Rallye Sanremo: for this event, he was elected as a driver for the WRC championship, driving a Citroën Xsara WRC alongside Philippe Bugalski and Jesús Puras. In only his third rally with a World Rally Car, he surprisingly hounded Peugeot tarmac specialist and eventual victor Gilles Panizzi to the finish, and ended up second.

2002–03[edit]

Loeb during Citroën's testing in Finland in May 2002

The 2002 season was Loeb's first as a WRC driver with the Citroën Total World Rally Team, although the team only participated in seven rounds in the build-up to their full entry the following year. Loeb started the season by provisionally winning the Monte Carlo Rally, after racing under appeal due to a two-minute time penalty incurred by an illegal tyre change during the second day. Citroën considered the penalty too severe but later withdrew the appeal, and Subaru's Tommi Mäkinen then took a record fourth consecutive Monte Carlo win. Loeb later took his maiden victory at the Rallye Deutschland in Germany, edging out Peugeot's Richard Burns.

In 2003, his first full season in the championship, Loeb won three WRC events, Monte Carlo, Germany and Sanremo, before losing to Petter Solberg in the Wales Rally Great Britain, also losing the championship to him by just one point. Loeb's reputation grew as he defeated his more illustrious team mates – Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae – over the course of the season. At the end of the year, he earned the title "Champion of Champions" by beating Marcus Grönholm in the final of the Race of Champions.

2004[edit]

Loeb at the 2004 Cyprus Rally

In the 2004 season, Loeb dominated the WRC scene in a similar way to the Michael Schumacher domination of Formula One the same year, by winning six events and taking six runner-up spots to securely give him the drivers' title, 36 points clear of second-placed Solberg. His six WRC victories tied the record for victories in one season with fellow Frenchman Didier Auriol, who won six events in 1992. He was also responsible for Citroën's second manufacturers' title in a row.

Originally known as a tarmac specialist, 2004 was the year Loeb proved himself capable of winning on other surfaces as well. He won the snow-based Swedish Rally, becoming the first non-Nordic to win the event. On gravel, he triumphed in the Cyprus Rally, Rally of Turkey and the Rally Australia. On tarmac, he continued his success in Monte Carlo and Germany.

2005[edit]

Loeb at the 2005 Cyprus Rally

In 2005, with victory in the ninth round in Argentina, Loeb became the first to win six consecutive rallies, beating Timo Salonen's record of four from 1985. Having already won the season-opening Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo, he also became the first to win seven in a season, beating his (and Didier Auriol's) own record of six wins in a season. Loeb was in a position to clinch the title while leading the Wales Rally Great Britain, but after it was announced that the last two stages of the rally would be abandoned due to the death of Markko Märtin's co-driver Michael Park in an accident on stage 15, Loeb deliberately incurred a two-minute penalty to drop him to third place and avoid retaining his title in such circumstances. He went on to secure the title by finishing second to Peugeot's Marcus Grönholm at the next rally in Japan.

Loeb eventually extended his win record to ten and won the title with a 56-point margin, breaking a 25-year-old record; Walter Röhrl's margin over Hannu Mikkola in 1980 was 54. Loeb set several other records during the season as well. He won all twelve stages in the 2005 Tour de Corse in France, which marked the first time a driver had won every stage of a WRC rally. Loeb's twelve podium and thirteen points-scoring finishes in a row were also new records in the series.

In the Race of Champions, after being surprised by the young event rookie Heikki Kovalainen last year, he beat Tom Kristensen in the final to claim his second title.

2006[edit]

Loeb at the 2006 Rally Japan

Citroën's parent company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, pulled both manufacturers out of the WRC at the end of 2005, but Citroën planned to return in 2007 with the C4 WRC, and developed the car during 2006. Loeb was closely involved with this as he was guaranteed the leading role in the team at the comeback. In the meantime, a 'gap year' beckoned in the privateer ranks, namely with Citroën-sponsored Kronos Racing entered as the Kronos Total Citroën World Rally Team.

In order to score on the first round in Monte Carlo, Loeb was initially forced to activate the SupeRally rules for retiring competitors, having spun off the road on day one. Although he did manage to fight his way back to second place, it was the first time he had ever been beaten to the finish (namely by fellow double world champion Marcus Grönholm) on these roads in the Xsara WRC. This outcome was mirrored on the following month's Swedish Rally, with Grönholm again the man to whom Loeb was forced to give best, placing the duo in an early runaway 1–2 position in the points standings.

Loeb on a road section during the 2006 Rally Finland

But the Frenchman's bridesmaid status was not to last, and racking up a triumph on the ensuing Rally Mexico – the first of five on the trot that season – propelled him into a championship lead he was never to lose. He tied Carlos Sainz's record number of 26 individual rally victories in August with a fifth consecutive victory in Germany. With his subsequent victory in Japan, the world record of 27 victories and counting eventually became his. His victory in Cyprus put him on the verge of a third consecutive World Rally Championship title.

Shortly after, Loeb broke his right humerus in a mountain-biking accident near his home in Switzerland, causing him to miss the last four rallies of the season (Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and Wales). In spite of this, Loeb had accumulated such a huge point lead before Turkey that Marcus Grönholm's failure to finish third or better in Australia handed Loeb the 2006 championship crown by one point. He received the news at home via an Internet video link to the rally HQ. Due to the time difference, he made do with early morning coffee instead of the customary champagne, calling the whole experience "strange".

2007[edit]

For 2007, Sébastien Loeb returned as an official Citroën driver, with the new Citroën C4 WRC. He won the 75ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo, the first race for the new C4, following that up with a solid second place after Grönholm, in Sweden, to set up a two-point lead over the Finn after two of 16 rounds. At the first Rally Norway, Loeb went off and lost eight minutes during SS12 while chasing Grönholm and the leader, Mikko Hirvonen. On the next stage, he made another mistake and lost nine minutes. He eventually finished 14th in the rally and dropped to third in the championship standings. He won 8 of the 18 stages in this rally. Loeb won the next rally, the 21º Corona Rally México, 55.8 seconds clear of Grönholm.

He then followed this success up with his third and fourth season victories on the Portuguese and Argentinian rallies. Characteristically, he was once more to be found in the lead on the seventh round, the Rally d'Italia in Sardinia. On new stages on the final leg to those of the previous year, however, Loeb was once more to lament error and the surrender of probable victory, this time after crashing and breaking his suspension in a ditch. He left the lead in the hands of Grönholm, who won to propel himself seven points ahead of Loeb at the top of the championship standings. A second loss to the Finn in as many years on the Acropolis Rally then extended the deficit to nine points over the championship's summer break.

Loeb occupied his recess by, amongst other engagements, competing in the Shell Donegal International Rally on 15, 16 and 17 June, partially as preparation for the coming Rally Ireland world championship round that November. He scored a comprehensive victory, albeit only after being given a scare by the pace of tenacious private Subaru-mounted Mark Higgins. Punctures afflicted upon his rival eventually settled the contest.

Ambitions of finally scoring victory on Rally Finland proved once more unrealized, with Loeb relegated to third place behind the pacy natives Grönholm and Hirvonen. Rallye Deutschland, as was traditional, differed somewhat. Although, at the scene of his first victory and on a rally where he had never subsequently lost, Loeb was left unexpectedly to fend off the challenge not of the Finn, but of a privateer, his one-time team-mate and championship returnee François Duval, he came to eventually triumph, reducing some of his championship points deficit.

Loeb at the 2007 Wales Rally GB

A very close battle on the gravel stages of Rally New Zealand ended with the second closest win in WRC history – Loeb finished only 0.3s behind his main rival. The next two rounds, however, allowed the French driver to regain some points, as he won both tarmac events – Rallye Espana, where his team mate Dani Sordo additionally took second place and two points from Grönholm, and Rally France.

Rally Japan was another dramatic event – Loeb got the chance to take the lead in Championship after Grönholm's early mistake,[4] but he was unable to, as his co-driver mistake caused the C4 to go off road on one of the stages of second leg. Both drivers ended with no points after finally retiring from the event.[5] In Ireland, during 1st Rally Ireland almost the same story happened – Marcus Grönholm overcooked a slippery right corner on one of the early stages, trying to keep a fast pace, and had to retire from the rally. Loeb made use of his rival's mistake and, by making no major mistakes, although having some suspension-related problems with keeping pace at the beginning,[6] he added 10 points to his account, moving ahead of Finnish driver just one round before the season's end. In Wales he was not fighting for the win, focusing mostly on securing his advantage, finishing the event third – on 2 December 2007 Loeb became World Rally Champion for the fourth time in a row.[7]

2008[edit]

Loeb with his C4 WRC at the 2008 Monte Carlo Rally

Loeb started the 2008 season with a record fifth win in Monte Carlo.[8] On the second rally of the year, 2008 Swedish Rally, he crashed out during day one. Although he re-joined the rally to collect manufacturers' points, the team later decided to retire him due to a damaged engine. After winning in Mexico and Argentina, Loeb had a crash with Conrad Rautenbach on a road section in Jordan, from which he could only recover to take tenth place in the rally. He went on to win two events, and then finish close third to the Ford factory team duo Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala at the Rally of Turkey.

Loeb later notably won the Rally Finland ahead of Hirvonen. This was the fourth time in the event's 58-year history that a non-Nordic driver won the rally, after Carlos Sainz in 1990, Didier Auriol in 1992 and Markko Märtin in 2003. This started a string of five victories for Loeb. In Germany, New Zealand and Spain, Citroën also took double wins as his team-mate Dani Sordo took three runner-up spots in a row.

Loeb during the 2008 Rally Argentina

Going into the penultimate round of the season, the 2008 Rally Japan, Loeb led Hirvonen by 14 points and needed a third place to secure the world drivers' title. Finishing behind Ford's Hirvonen and Latvala, Loeb broke Juha Kankkunen's, Tommi Mäkinen's and his own record of four titles and became the first five-time world champion in rallying.[9]

After clinching the World Rally Championship, Loeb edged out Latvala to take his first Wales Rally GB win, a feat which also helped secure his team their first manufacturers' title since 2005, from 2006 and 2007 victors Ford. In December, Loeb won the individual 2008 Race of Champions, becoming the second driver after compatriot Auriol to win the event more than twice.

2009[edit]

Loeb during the shakedown in Cyprus

Loeb started the year by winning Rally Ireland for the second time since 2007. He then won his first Rally Norway ever, after a fierce battle with Mikko Hirvonen, lasting throughout the very final stage. Being first on the road through all three days, Loeb kept his lead, in the end winning with 9.8 seconds over Hirvonen. Loeb continued his good form by winning over Hirvonen in Cyprus, marking his career 50th victory, and in Portugal. His victory in Argentina, the fifth in a row in this country, was also his fifth victory in a row since the start of the season.

At the Rally d'Italia Sardegna, Loeb had a puncture after going off the road and dropped from third to fourth.[10] Although he passed Petter Solberg for the final podium spot, he still finished fourth due to a time penalty for a safety rule violation; co-driver Daniel Elena had unfastened his safety belts before the crew stopped the car for a tyre change.[11] At the Acropolis Rally, Loeb crashed out from third place.[12] On Rally Poland's return to the WRC, Loeb had another crash but he continued in the event under superally rules. After team orders issued for the Citroën Junior Team drivers and a late mistake by Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala, Loeb found himself seventh but had lost the championship lead to Hirvonen by one point.[13]

By winning the Rally Catalunya, Loeb reduced the deficit to Hirvonen in the title race before the final event of the year; once again trailing by a single point.[14] The Frenchman gained the championship by winning the final event of the year, the Rally GB. Victory was secured partly due to an incredible performance over SS8 and SS9, where in the course of only two stages Loeb extended his lead in the rally over Hirvonen from 2.4s to 25s.[15][16]

2010[edit]

Loeb in Sofia before the 2010 Rally Bulgaria

The 2010 WRC season started with the snow-based Swedish Rally, where Loeb finished second behind Ford's Mikko Hirvonen. He went on to take a clear championship lead by winning the following three gravel events: Rally México, Jordan Rally and Rally of Turkey. In New Zealand, Loeb finished third in a tight battle that saw the top five finish within 26 seconds of each other. In Portugal, Loeb narrowly lost the win to his countryman Sébastien Ogier of the Citroën Junior Team, who took his debut win in the World Rally Championship. In the following Rally Bulgaria, a new event in the series and the season's first tarmac rally, Loeb won while Citroën scored the WRC's first 1–2–3–4 in seventeen years.[17]

At the 60th Rally Finland, Loeb beat Citroën privateer Petter Solberg to the final podium position, behind Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala and Ogier. He went on to win the Rallye Deutschland for the eighth time in a row, marking the first time a driver has won a WRC rally eight times.[18] After a fifth place in Japan, Loeb secured a record-extending seventh consecutive World Rally Championship title by winning his home event, the Rallye de France. As the Rallye de France–Alsace had replaced the Tour de Corse as the French round of the WRC, Loeb ended up clinching the title on a final stage that was held in his home town of Haguenau, Alsace.[19][20][21] Loeb later took part in the Race of Champions, driving for Team France alongside four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost. In the individual event, he made it to the final for the seventh time but lost to surprise winner Filipe Albuquerque.

During the course of the season, he was on the podium of all events but one (Japan where he finished fifth), and ended up the season with a record 105 points over runner-up Jari-Matti Latvala.

2011[edit]

The 2011 season brought a new generation of World Rally Cars. Now at the wheel of a Citroën DS3 WRC, Loeb started his year by finishing sixth at the Rally Sweden. He went on to win in Mexico for the fifth time in row, after teammate Sébastien Ogier crashed out from a narrow lead.[22] In Portugal, Loeb finished second to Ogier and took his first Power Stage win, collecting three more points from the final stage.[23] At the Jordan Rally, held during the Arab Spring, the entire first day was cancelled. Loeb placed third behind the closest-ever finish in the history of the World Rally Championship.[24] He then beat Ford's Mikko Hirvonen to the win at the Rally d'Italia Sardegna.

In Argentina, Loeb won after a tight three-way battle, taking the lead from Ogier on the final stage and finishing 2.4 seconds ahead of Hirvonen.[25] At the next event, the Acropolis Rally in Greece, Loeb had to settle for second behind Ogier. In the high-speed Rally Finland, he beat Jari-Matti Latvala to become the first non-Nordic driver to win twice in the event's 60-year history.[26] In August, Loeb signed a two-year contract extension with Citroën.[27] At the Rallye Deutschland, Loeb held a close lead ahead of Ogier after the first day and Citroën decided to freeze the situation. A puncture later dropped Loeb out of contention and he finished behind his teammate. This ended his record win streak in Germany and was the first time that he had lost in a tarmac-based event since the 2006 Monte Carlo Rally. Tension in the team grew; David Evans of Autosport wrote that "it's war between the two Sebs".[28]

Loeb at the Acropolis Rally

Before Australia, Loeb held a 25-point lead in the championship ahead of Ogier. During the first day of the rally, both Sébastiens crashed out. Loeb later gained a point by climbing to tenth place after Citroën ordered Ogier to slow down.[29] In his home event, the Rallye de France, Loeb took the lead from the start but soon fell victim to a rare engine failure in his DS3 WRC and had to retire. As Ogier beat Mini's Dani Sordo to the win, Loeb now tied the lead in the championship with Hirvonen, and Ogier was only three points adrift. At the Rally Catalunya, Loeb took his fifth win of the season and broke Markku Alén's record (801) for most stage wins in the world championship.[30] He carried an eight-point lead over Hirvonen into the season-ending Wales Rally GB. Loeb took the rally lead from Latvala on the third stage, but lost it to Hirvonen by 0.4 seconds on stage six. However, Hirvonen soon went wide, spun and broke his radiator, which in turn caused severe engine problems. As Hirvonen was unable to restart, Loeb secured his eighth consecutive world championship. This title moved him ahead of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher in terms of major motorsport championships won.[31] While running in second place behind Latvala, Loeb retired from the rally due to a road section collision with a spectator who had driven his car on the wrong side of a narrow road.[32][33]

2012[edit]

Loeb began his 2012 season by beating Mini's Dani Sordo to a record sixth win in the Monte Carlo Rally. He also secured the maximum points by recording the fastest time for the power stage.[34] In Sweden, after hitting a snowbank on stage seven, Loeb was forced out of the fight for the number one spot. He finished sixth and gained three extra points by again winning the power stage.[35] Loeb took his second victory of the season at the Rally Mexico, ahead of his new teammate Mikko Hirvonen.[36] In Portugal, he crashed out from third place on the night stages of the first day, after misunderstanding a pacenote.[37] The Rally Argentina was dominated by the Citroëns and Loeb drove to his 70th WRC victory.[38] At the Acropolis Rally in Greece, he cruised to an easy win after Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg ran into several problems and dropped out of contention.[39]

He went on to continue his WRC win streak in New Zealand and in Finland, where he edged out Hirvonen to take his third win in the event.[40] This marked the fourth double win in a row for the Citroën duo. After beating Latvala to the win in Germany, Loeb finished second to the Finn at the Wales Rally GB, after a tight battle for the position with Solberg.[41]

In late September, Loeb announced his retirement from full-time rallying, stating that he would compete only in selected events during the upcoming season. He added that he is interested in taking on a new challenge such as the World Touring Car Championship.[42] In his home event, the Rallye de France, Loeb built a cushion over Latvala and title rival Hirvonen on the first two days. He then held Latvala at bay on the wet roads on Sunday, securing a record ninth drivers' title in the World Rally Championship and aiding Citroën to its eighth manufacturers' title.[43] German magazine Auto Bild noted that Loeb was now two world championship titles clear of Schumacher and equal to Valentino Rossi, and dubbed him "the best rally driver of all time and a shining light in motorsport."[44] Former world champion Ari Vatanen opined that Loeb's records are unlikely to be broken.[45]

2013[edit]

WRC[edit]

Loeb will compete in four rallies for the 2013 season: Monte Carlo, Sweden, Argentina and France.[46] He started his partial WRC season with a win in Monte Carlo,[47] and finished second to Sébastien Ogier in Sweden, followed by another win in Argentina. Ahead of his home rally in France, it has been speculated it could be his WRC swansong.[48][49] It was confirmed on October 1, 2013 as Loeb will continue racing for Citroen, this time for World Touring Car Championship.[50][51] However, Loeb crashed out on the first stage of day three. The rally was eventually won by Sebastien Ogier.[52]

Other ventures[edit]

In April 2013, Loeb tested a Peugeot 208 T16 at Mont Ventoux.[53] Loosely based on the shape and design of the production 208, the T16 is a lightweight 875 kg (1,929 lb) vehicle that uses the rear wing from the Peugeot 908, and has a 3.2-litre, twin-turbo V6 engine, developing 875 bhp (652 kW; 887 PS) with the aim of competing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.[54] Loeb won the event with a time of 8:13.878, smashing the previous record by a minute and a half.

Racing[edit]

World Touring Car Championship[edit]

In June 2013 it was confirmed that Citroën were to enter the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2014 with Loeb driving one of the factory supported cars built for new to 2014 regulations.[55] He will be partnered by (as of 2013) 4-time WTCC champion, 10-time ice racing champion and fellow Frenchman Yvan Muller,[56] José María López and Ma Qing Hua.

Le Mans/sports cars[edit]

As his WRC stature grew, Loeb began to participate in road racing events and tests. He first competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race in 2005, where he drove for the Pescarolo Sport team's No. 17 entry. Reportedly Loeb did much of his preparation for the race by running practice laps around the circuit in the Sony PlayStation 2 video game Gran Turismo 4 aboard a private jet.[57] In the race the car was plagued by incidents, but Loeb proved to be able to drive fast for his first race on a closed track. Loeb finished second overall in the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Pescarolo-Judd, between the two Diesel-powered Audi R10.

Free time in his WRC schedule allows him to race in the French GT Championship (FFSA GT) where he drove a Ferrari 550 Prodrive and a Porsche 911 GT3-RSR as well as in the French Carrera Cup where he achieved top-10 finishes. For 2012 Loeb launched Sébastien Loeb Racing which competes in FFSA GT and the European Le Mans Series. Loeb drove for his own team at the Circuit de Pau in the French Carrera Cup and won the race.[58]

X-Games[edit]

In July 2012, Loeb debuted in the X Games in Los Angeles (X Games XVIII), facing his old rival Marcus Grönholm. Grönholm was hospitalised due to an accident in practice, and Loeb won the rallycross gold medal well ahead of Ken Block.[59]

Formula One[edit]

Loeb has had a number of Formula One tests. He first tested for Renault F1 at Paul Ricard in December 2007, in a switch that saw Heikki Kovalainen test Loeb's WRC car.[60] Red Bull, which became a major sponsor of the Citroën factory team during the 2008 season, rewarded Loeb for winning the WRC with a Formula One test in Red Bull Racing's 2008-spec Red Bull RB4. He first drove the car at Silverstone, and then took part in the first official Formula One winter test in Barcelona.[61] Loeb was eighth quickest of 17 drivers.[62]

Loeb continued to set his sights on a switch to Formula One in 2009. Following stories that fellow Frenchman Sébastien Bourdais was under threat at Toro Rosso,[63] Loeb told French newspaper L'Équipe that he was interested in replacing Bourdais at the Red Bull-backed team.[64] He intended to make his F1 debut at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which took place in November, after the WRC season finished, with a view to making the switch full-time for 2010.[65] However, this plan was scuppered when he was not granted an FIA Super Licence, rendering him ineligible to race in F1 for the foreseeable future as he had not done enough circuit racing at lower levels.[66] He had also been in contact with the US F1 Team about a possible drive for 2010.[67]

Loeb has also taken part in an official GP2 Series testing session after the 2009 season, where he drove for the David Price Racing team, finishing last of 25 drivers.

FIA GT Series / Porsche Supercup[edit]

Loeb participated in the 2013 FIA GT Series season, driving for Sébastien Loeb Racing which entered two McLaren MP4-12C cars. Loeb paired up with Portuguese driver Álvaro Parente in one of the cars while Frenchman Mike Parisy and Austrian Andreas Zuber were the driver pairing for the other Sébastien Loeb Racing car.[68] Loeb and Parente took a total of three qualifying race wins and one championship race win on their way to fourth place overall in the season. A number of reliability issues and racing incidents prevented the pair from scoring more victories.

Loeb also participated in two races of the 2013 Porsche Supercup season at the famous Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and Circuit de Monaco circuits, both events being held as support category races for the 2013 Formula One season. Loeb finished 11th in Spain and 16th in Monaco.[69]

Personal life[edit]

Loeb and co-driver Elena in 2008

Loeb is married to Séverine, who runs the Loeb Events hospitality area during most rallies and also often replaces Daniel Elena as co-driver for non-championship races.[70] The couple have a daughter Valentine, and the family reside near Lausanne, Switzerland.[71]

Loeb was made knight of the Légion d'honneur on 27 May 2009, by French president Nicolas Sarkozy.[72] Loeb is a member of the "Champions for Peace" club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.[73]

Victories[edit]

  • Loeb provisionally won the Monte Carlo event in 2002 but was later docked two minutes for an illegal tyre change and demoted to second place.
  • Loeb also provisionally won the 2009 Rally Australia, but was penalized one minute to second place as his car was fitted with a non-regulation part.[74]
  • Loeb's win at the 2010 Rallye Deutschland was his eighth victory in a row there, marking a record for consecutive wins in a WRC event. He was the only driver to win the rally since its 2002 introduction to the WRC calendar, until 2011, when he was second and Sébastien Ogier won.
  • Loeb is the first non-Nordic rally driver to have won Rally Sweden (in 2004).

Complete WRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1999 Equipe de France FFSA Citroën Saxo Kit Car MON SWE KEN POR ESP
Ret
FRA
19
ARG GRE NZL FIN CHN ITA
21
AUS GBR NC 0
2000 Sébastien Loeb Citroën Saxo Kit Car MON SWE KEN POR ESP ARG GRE NZL FIN
Ret
CYP GBR
38
NC 0
Equipe de France FFSA Toyota Corolla WRC FRA
9
ITA
10
AUS
2001 Sébastien Loeb Citroën Saxo Kit Car MON
15
SWE
Ret
POR 14th 6
Citroën Saxo VTS S1600 ESP
15
ARG CYP GRE
19
KEN FIN
28
NZL FRA
13
AUS GBR
15
Automobiles Citroën Citroën Xsara WRC ITA
2
2002 Automobiles Citroën Citroën Xsara WRC MON
2
SWE
17
FRA ESP
Ret
CYP ARG GRE
7
KEN
5
FIN
10
GER
1
ITA NZL GBR
Ret
10th 18
Piedrafita Sport AUS
7
2003 Citroën Total Citroën Xsara WRC MON
1
SWE
7
TUR
Ret
NZL
4
ARG
Ret
GRE
Ret
CYP
3
GER
1
FIN
5
AUS
2
ITA
1
FRA
13
ESP
2
GBR
2
2nd 71
2004 Citroën Total Citroën Xsara WRC MON
1
SWE
1
MEX
Ret
NZL
4
CYP
1
GRE
2
TUR
1
ARG
2
FIN
4
GER
1
JPN
2
GBR
2
ITA
2
FRA
2
ESP
Ret
AUS
1
1st 118
2005 Citroën Total Citroën Xsara WRC MON
1
SWE
Ret
MEX
4
NZL
1
ITA
1
CYP
1
TUR
1
GRE
1
ARG
1
FIN
2
GER
1
GBR
3
JPN
2
FRA
1
ESP
1
AUS
Ret
1st 127
2006 Kronos Total Citroën WRT Citroën Xsara WRC MON
2
SWE
2
MEX
1
ESP
1
FRA
1
ARG
1
ITA
1
GRE
2
GER
1
FIN
2
JPN
1
CYP
1
TUR
AUS
NZL
GBR
1st 112
2007 Citroën Total WRT Citroën C4 WRC MON
1
SWE
2
NOR
14
MEX
1
POR
1
ARG
1
ITA
Ret
GRE
2
FIN
3
GER
1
NZL
2
ESP
1
FRA
1
JPN
Ret
IRE
1
GBR
3
1st 116
2008 Citroën Total WRT Citroën C4 WRC MON
1
SWE
Ret
MEX
1
ARG
1
JOR
10
ITA
1
GRE
1
TUR
3
FIN
1
GER
1
NZL
1
ESP
1
FRA
1
JPN
3
GBR
1
1st 122
2009 Citroën Total WRT Citroën C4 WRC IRE
1
NOR
1
CYP
1
POR
1
ARG
1
ITA
4
GRE
Ret
POL
7
FIN
2
AUS
2
ESP
1
GBR
1
1st 93
2010 Citroën Total WRT Citroën C4 WRC SWE
2
MEX
1
JOR
1
TUR
1
NZL
3
POR
2
BUL
1
FIN
3
GER
1
JPN
5
FRA
1
ESP
1
GBR
1
1st 276
2011 Citroën Total WRT Citroën DS3 WRC SWE
6
MEX
1
POR
2
JOR
3
ITA
1
ARG
1
GRE
2
FIN
1
GER
2
AUS
10
FRA
Ret
ESP
1
GBR
Ret
1st 222
2012 Citroën Total WRT Citroën DS3 WRC MON
1
SWE
6
MEX
1
POR
Ret
ARG
1
GRE
1
NZL
1
FIN
1
GER
1
GBR
2
FRA
1
ITA
Ret
ESP
1
1st 270
2013 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroën DS3 WRC MON
1
SWE
2
MEX POR ARG
1
GRE ITA FIN GER AUS FRA
Ret
ESP GBR 8th 68

JWRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pos. Points
2001 Sébastien Loeb Citroën Saxo Kit Car ESP
1
GRE
1
1st 50
Citroën Saxo VTS S1600 FIN
1
ITA FRA
1
GBR
1

Hillclimbing record[edit]

Year Car Time Pos. Class
Pos.
2014 Peugeot 208 T16 ´Pikes Peak´ 44.60 1st 1st

Racing record[edit]

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2005 France Pescarolo Sport France Soheil Ayari
France Eric Hélary
Pescarolo C60 Hybrid-Judd LMP1 288 DNF DNF
2006 France Pescarolo Sport France Eric Hélary
France Franck Montagny
Pescarolo C60 Hybrid-Judd LMP1 376 2nd 2nd

FIA GT Series results[edit]

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos. Points
2013 Sébastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12C GT3 Pro NOG
QR

1
NOG
CR

12
ZOL
QR

17
ZOL
CR

13
ZAN
QR

Ret
ZAN
CR

14
SVK
QR

1
SVK
CR

Ret
NAV
QR

1
NAV
CR

1
BAK
QR

14
BAK
CR

2
4th 82

Complete Porsche Supercup results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 DC Points
2013 Porsche AG ESP
11
MON
16
GBR
GER
HUN
BEL
ITA
UAE
UAE
NC† 0

† – As Loeb was a guest driver, he was ineligible to score points.

Complete World Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 DC Points
2014 Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC MAR
1

2
MAR
2

1
FRA
1

2
FRA
2

6
HUN
1

7
HUN
2

9
SVK
1

1
SVK
2

C
AUT
1

4
AUT
2

7
RUS
1

3
RUS
2

5
BEL
1

3
BEL
2

5
ARG
1

4
ARG
2

6
BEI
1

5
BEI
2

3
CHN
1

4
CHN
2

12
JPN
1

JPN
2

MAC
1

MAC
2

3rd* 251*

† — Did not finish the race, but was classified as he completed over 90% of the race distance.

* Season in progress.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Décès d'Ingrid Loeb, mère de Sébastien Loeb (Death of Ingrid Loeb, mother of Sébastien Loeb), Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, 28 September 2012 (French)
  2. ^ "Sébastien Loeb's Official Website – biography". Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  3. ^ Celui qui tirait des câbles, Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, 7 September 2010, on wayback.archive.org (French)
  4. ^ "News Flash: Gronholm goes off road.". 26 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  5. ^ "News Flash: Loeb out again [updated]". 28 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  6. ^ "Sordo top.". 16 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  7. ^ "Loeb lands fourth straight title.". BBC News. 2 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  8. ^ "Loeb clinches record Monte win". Autosport. 27 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  9. ^ "Loeb clinches record fifth WRC title". Autosport. 2 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  10. ^ Beer, Matt (24 May 2009). "Latvala ends Loeb's winning streak". Autosport. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  11. ^ Beer, Matt (24 May 2009). "Penalty drops Loeb to fourth". Autosport. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  12. ^ Beer, Matt (13 June 2009). "Loeb crashes out of Acropolis". Autosport. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  13. ^ Beer, Matt (28 June 2009). "Hirvonen takes win and points lead". Autosport. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  14. ^ "Loeb wins Rally Catalunya". Autocar. 5 October. Retrieved 15 October 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ Beer, Matt (15 October 2009). "Loeb wins Rally GB and sixth title". Autosport. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  16. ^ "Loeb secures sixth title in a row". BBC Sport. 25 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  17. ^ "Sebastien Loeb wins Rally Bulgaria!". WRC.com. 11 July 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  18. ^ Peacock, Anthony (23 August 2010). "Sébastien Loeb wins Rallye Deutschland". AutoWeek. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  19. ^ Schilke, David C. (3 October 2010). "Loeb takes 7th WRC title at his home town in France". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "Sebastien Loeb wins seventh straight World Rally crown". BBC Sport. 3 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  21. ^ "Factbox-Rallying-World champion Sebastien Loeb". Reuters. 3 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  22. ^ "Loeb wins in Mexico". World Rally Championship (International Sportsworld Communicators). 6 March 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "Ogier strikes gold in Portugal". World Rally Championship (International Sportsworld Communicators). 27 March 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  24. ^ "Ogier pips Latvala to Jordan win in closest ever finish". Reuters. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "Loeb wins sixth Rally of Argentina". RTÉ. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Loeb wins Rally Finland for the second time". Reuters. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  27. ^ Constant, Brad (17 August 2011). "Sébastien Loeb to stay with Citroën through 2013". Autoweek. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  28. ^ Evans, David. "Why it's war between the two Sebs". Autosport. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  29. ^ "Hirvonen wins Down Under". Sky Sports. 11 September 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  30. ^ "Loeb overtakes Alen's 801 stage record". Sky News. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  31. ^ "Sébastien Loeb wins eighth world title to break Schumacher's record and one behind Valentino Rossis record of nine world championships". The Guardian (London). 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  32. ^ Evans, David; Beer, Matt (13 November 2011). "Sebastien Loeb 'could not avoid' road section collision that ended his Rally GB". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  33. ^ "World rally champ Sebastien Loeb crashes with hire car". BBC News. 13 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  34. ^ "Sébastien Loeb begins title defence with win in Monte Carlo Rally". The Guardian (London). 22 January 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  35. ^ "Jari-Matti Latvala clinches win in Sweden for Ford despite late puncture". Autosport. 12 February 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  36. ^ "Loeb claims victory at Rally Mexico". RTÉ. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  37. ^ "Motorsport: Loeb crashes out of Rally Portugal". The New Zealand Herald. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  38. ^ Baldwin, Alan (29 April 2012). "Loeb takes 70th world rally victory". Reuters. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  39. ^ "Loeb cruises to Acropolis win". Eurosport. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  40. ^ "Loeb takes Neste Oil Rally Finland for a third time". Helsingin Sanomat. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  41. ^ "Jari-Matti Latvala defends Wales Rally GB title". BBC. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  42. ^ "Sebastien Loeb will partially retire from the World Rally Championship". RTÉ. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  43. ^ "Loeb clinches ninth consecutive world title". Chicago Tribune. 7 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  44. ^ "Loeb zum neunten Mal Weltmeister". Auto Bild (in German). 7 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. "Eine Homage an den besten Rallyefahrer aller Zeiten und an eine Lichtgestalt im Motorsport." 
  45. ^ "Vatanen: Loebin ennätyksiä tuskin rikotaan". MTV3 (in Finnish). 8 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  46. ^ "Loeb to enter four rallies next year". 
  47. ^ Evans, Paul. "Iceman Loeb wins in Monte Carlo". The Sun (London). 
  48. ^ The Loeb review: Malcolm Wilson
  49. ^ [1]
  50. ^ Au revoir Seb - part 1
  51. ^ Sébastien Loeb - the most successful WRC career ever!
  52. ^ Loeb: “It didn’t go as planned...”
  53. ^ Autosport. 23 April 2013 http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/107020 |url= missing title (help). 
  54. ^ "875bhp twin-turbo Peugeot 208 T16". Autocar. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  55. ^ O'Leary, Jamie (25 June 2013). "Citroen confirms WTCC entry with Sebastien Loeb in 2014". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  56. ^ Hudson, Neil. "Citroën sign Yvan Muller for a two-year deal in WTCC". TouringCarTimes. 
  57. ^ "Sebastien Loeb Plays GT4 Online". Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  58. ^ "Porsche – Loeb s'adjuge la victoire à Pau". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  59. ^ Evans, David (2 July 2012). "Sebastien Loeb dominates X Games event in Los Angeles". Autosport. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  60. ^ "Loeb thrilled by Renault F1 test". ITV. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  61. ^ "Loeb to join F1 test with Red Bull". Autosport. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  62. ^ "Loeb fast enough for F1, say Red Bull". Autosport. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  63. ^ "Fresh doubts over Bourdais' future". Autosport. 10 July 2009. 
  64. ^ Jonathan Noble (11 July 2009). "Loeb interested in Bourdais' seat". Autosport. 
  65. ^ Autosport, p10 (2009-07-16)
  66. ^ Noble, Jonathan (22 October 2009). "Loeb gives up on Formula 1 dream". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  67. ^ "Rally Champion Loeb contacts USF1". GPUpdate.net. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  68. ^ "Sébastien Loeb, Alvaro Parente to pilot McLaren MP4-12Cs in FIA GT Series". Autoweek. 
  69. ^ "Loeb to race in Porsche Supercup at Barcelona and Monte Carlo". Autoweek. 22 April 2013. 
  70. ^ Au revoir Seb -part 2
  71. ^ "Site officiel de Sébastien Loeb – Biography". Sebastienloeb.com. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  72. ^ Evans, David (28 May 2009). "Loeb receives French knighthood". autosport.com (Haymarket). Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  73. ^ Peace and Sport. Peace-sport.org. Retrieved on 2011-11-13.
  74. ^ "Hirvonen named Rally Australia winner after Citroen penalties". wrc.com. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Petter Solberg
Autosport
International Rally Driver Award

2004–2006
Succeeded by
Marcus Grönholm
Preceded by
Marcus Grönholm
Autosport
International Rally Driver Award

2008
Succeeded by
Mikko Hirvonen
Preceded by
Mikko Hirvonen
Autosport
International Rally Driver Award

2010–2012
Succeeded by
Sébastien Ogier
Preceded by
Laure Manaudou
Alain Bernard
French Sportperson of the Year
(with Daniel Elena)

2007
2009
Succeeded by
Alain Bernard
Christophe Lemaitre
Sporting positions
Preceded by
None
Junior World Rally Champion
2001
Succeeded by
Daniel Solà
Preceded by
Marcus Grönholm
Race of Champions
Champion of Champions

2003
Succeeded by
Heikki Kovalainen
Preceded by
Petter Solberg
World Rally Champion
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Succeeded by
Sébastien Ogier
Preceded by
Cristiano da Matta
Fonsi Nieto
Gilles Panizzi
Race of Champions
Nations' Cup

2004 with:
Jean Alesi
Succeeded by
Mattias Ekström
Tom Kristensen
Preceded by
Heikki Kovalainen
Race of Champions
Champion of Champions

2005
Succeeded by
Mattias Ekström
Preceded by
Mattias Ekström
Race of Champions
Champion of Champions

2008
Succeeded by
Mattias Ekström
Records
Preceded by
Carlos Sainz
26 wins
(19872005)
Most Rally wins
78 wins,

27th at the 2006 Rally Japan
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Rhys Millen
9:46.164
(2012)
Pikes Peak Hillclimb
8:13.878

2013
Succeeded by
Incumbent