After nine world championships and 78 victories, Sébastien Loeb has retired from the World Rally Championship. Here are the pictorial highlights from his record-breaking domination of the sport
Matt Burt
7 October 2013

Sébastien Loeb bowed out from the World Rally Championship in France last weekend. Or rather he rolled out, making an out-of-character mistake by carrying too much speed into a quick right-hand corner and sliding into a ditch, where his Citroën DS3 WRC came to rest upside down.

The Alsatian and his navigator Daniel Elena were unhurt in the incident, but it wasn’t a satisfactory full stop to the careers of world rallying’s most successful crew.

Scroll down for Sébastien Loeb's career in numbers

At the age of 39, Loeb has called time on his WRC commitments to take up a new challenge with Citroën in the World Touring Car Championship.

It’s a move that’s been on the cards for a few years; since winning his first top-line rally in 2002, Loeb has destroyed all previous WRC benchmarks, and has absolutely nothing left to prove in the sport.

The standard of four WRC titles, shared between Tommi Mäkinen and Juha Kankkunen, was shattered in 2008 when Loeb secured his fifth crown in succession. He didn’t stop there, winning every championship up until 2012 and ended with nine accolades to his name.

In 2007 Loeb sped past Carlos Sainz’s all-time record of 26 WRC victories, and has now reset the high-water mark at 78 wins. By comparison, Sébastien Ogier, the newly crowned 2013 world champion and driver expected to dominate the sport in a similar manner to Loeb before him, is currently on 13 victories.

Markku Alén’s record of 801 special stage victories was also eclipsed, with Loeb and Elena ending their careers on a neat 900 after annexing four special stage wins in France last weekend.

Loeb appetite for adventure has seen him explore different areas of motorsport in recent seasons. He finished second in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2006 with the Pescarolo Sport team, and was impressively quick in 2008 when he tested a Red Bull Formula 1 car.

He runs his own sportscar racing team, and famously won the Pikes Peak hillclimb in Colorado this summer, demolishing the course record in a highly developed Peugeot 208 T16.

This year he has only competed in four WRC events, yet has scored two victories and a second place. And yet you wonder if signing off with a failure to finish on his home rally will irk the perfection-seeking Frenchman, and whether he’ll be able to resist returning to the special stages for just one attempt to end on a high note…

Sébastien Loeb's career in numbers

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Comments
8

7 October 2013

Bravo Seb!

289

7 October 2013

the guy is a legend and has nothing to prove for me.....add to that the fact that he is a genuinely approachable bloke AND lets not forget had a previous career as a gymnast before WRC and here is a man who towers above the pip squeak prima donnas of the F1 world.
They should look at him and hang their heads in shame.
I have always believed Rally drivers are more able drivers anyway.

7 October 2013

Goes to proove, nobody's really, interested in rallying any more. Can he balance a Turnip on his head ?

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

7 October 2013

The first season that I seen him drive in WRC I knew he would win a championship. The way he was driving was just perfection. It was fast, it was smooth, it was measured.

What I didn't know was how many he was going to win and every one of them fully deserved.

There's really only one way to describe Loeb. Legend.

7 October 2013

What I've always found odd is Citroen's failure to really cash-in on his success. It's not like Citroen is perceived as sporting brand, which is fine but quite how you make the business case for all that spending stand up is beyond me.

8 October 2013
BadgerChap wrote:

What I've always found odd is Citroen's failure to really cash-in on his success. It's not like Citroen is perceived as sporting brand, which is fine but quite how you make the business case for all that spending stand up is beyond me.

Well presumably PSA Group believe it does pay, or they would pull out in a flash.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

7 October 2013

A one off.

But I know why he has retired - Pirelli, they of F1 rubbish tyres have been appointed as tyre suppliers for next year's WRC

Pit stops on a rally - I don't think so.

Malo Mori Quam Foedari

7 October 2013

I bet if he was British, everyone would be raving about him!

I don't think he gets enough credit in my opinion. To be that consistently good throughout his career is enough proof that he's probably the best rally driver to ever grace the sport.

WRC really needs to expand as a brand. You never really hear much of it unless you really follow it. Less F1, more rallying please!

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