Sebastien Loeb is motorsport’s most successful racer. These are not only HANDBRAKES & HAIRPINS’ words, but those from FIA in an award to the eight-times World Rally Champion from France.
Before jumping head-long into rallying, Loeb was national gymnastics star in his home country. He has dabbled with endurance racing in the Le Mans Series, and his speed when the wheel of a ciircuit racer impressed so much that he has participated in Formula One tests. The Frenchman posted competitive lap times in the Red Bull-Renault F1 machine, but his age counted against him embarking on a competitive campaign in the sport.
He has also turned his experience into knowledge, mentoring young French rally drivers competing in kart races and creating his own racing team in the French Porsche Carrera Cup Championship.
In the team’s debut event, the Sebastien Loeb Racing Team scored two wins in Pau. Racing was held on a tight and twisting street circuit, dubbed “Little Monaco.” Loeb took to the circuit and swept to pole position in qualifying and then on to winning both races with flair, making a one-off appearance in the championship.
To boot, his team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay (the 2010 Indy Light champion) finished second in both races. It was the first successes for Sebastien Loeb Racing Team, which runs in the European Le Mans Series and the French GT Championship.
“The weekend was 100 percent positive,” Loeb commented afterwards. “Jean-Karl scored the most points for the championship and I personally enjoyed myself. I am very pleased to have taken the first victory for the team. They would still have won [without me], but it will remain a great memory.”
The Citroen WRC star will be back in more familiar surroundings when he contests the Acropolis Rally in 10 days time (24–27 May).
Watch video highlights on YouTube from Loeb’s circuit victories here: