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Loeb drops hints about Le Mans future

The World Rally Championship's 'record man' Sébastien Loeb has ignited speculation that once he hangs up his rallying helmet - possibly at the end of this season - he could be set for a second career in sportscars...
He has already all-but confirmed that this year will be his last in the World Rally Championship [see separate story – click here], and now record-breaking multiple world champion and current world championship leader Sébastien Loeb has hinted at what direction his career may take once he does hang up his WRC helmet.

The Citroën Total World Rally Team star will compete this weekend on Rally Acropolis in Greece, but last weekend, he was an interested visitor to the Le Mans 24 Hours in his homeland of France as a guest of Peugeot Sport. Loeb has twice contested the round-the-clock La Sarthe classic himself – finishing second outright with Pescarolo Sport five years ago.

Clashing WRC commitments have precluded any returns since then, but whilst insisting that for the time being, his focus is firmly on the conquest of an incredible eighth world championship crown in 2011 alongside loyal co-driver Daniel Elena, the 37-year-old did concede that beyond the end of this season, a switch to sportscar racing should not necessarily be ruled out.

“Maybe, I think everything's possible,” he told Eurosport. “At the moment, I don't know exactly what I will do in the future. For sure, it (Le Mans) is an exciting race, so why not? It's a pleasure to come here, but the priority is the rally. It's a fantastic race and I came for that reason. I knew before I would not drive the car here, but it was a free weekend and I came to see the start.”

In evidence of his versatility, Loeb has on three separate occasions tested an F1 car – greatly impressing Red Bull Racing with the eighth-quickest time out of 17 drivers in Barcelona in late 2008 – and he came close to making his grand prix debut in-place of out-of-favour countryman and namesake Sébastien Bourdais at Scuderia Toro Rosso in Abu Dhabi the following year, only to be scuppered by the FIA declining to grant him a super-licence. He has also tested a GP2 machine.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Podium, Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
Eric Helary (FRA), Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Frank Montagny (FRA), Pescarolo-Judd C60.24 Heures du Mans, La Sarthe, France. 17th-18th June 2006.
Sebastien Loeb has a word for his fans.24 Heures du Mans, La Sarthe, France. 17th-18th June 2006.
2nd place finish for Frank Montagny (FRA), Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Eric Helary (FRA), Pescarolo-Judd C60. 24 Heures du Mans, La Sarthe, France. 17th-18th June 2006.
Tom Kristensen congratulates Sebastien Loeb on his second place win.24 Heures du Mans, La Sarthe, France. 17th-18th June 2006.
Eric Helary (FRA), Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Frank Montagny (FRA), Pescarolo-Judd C60.24 Heures du Mans, La Sarthe, France. 17th-18th June 2006.
2nd place finish for Frank Montagny (FRA), Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Eric Helary (FRA), Pescarolo-Judd C60.24 Heures du Mans, La Sarthe, France. 17th-18th June 2006.
Fans. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Sander Parn. ERC 2WD winner. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Alexey Lukyanuk. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Ott Tanak. Ford Fiesta R5. auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 [Pic credit: ERC]
Timmu Korge

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Sootmonkey

June 16, 2011 1:05 PM

It would make absolute sense, after all he's already employed by the same owners, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, who own both Citroen and Peugeot so I'm sure it's been on the cards for a while. Now that Sebastien Ogier has proved himself as a worthy replacement his contract can just be switched to Sportscar racing. Having said that, the man's a genius and I honestly think he could turn his hand to anything with four wheels successfully

matto3227

June 16, 2011 1:19 PM

Seb is something special, and as previously said he could quite easily turn his hand to anything, his test times in single seaters confirms that he seriously could consider a career in this format of racing. Alas due to his age i think that sadly the chance of an F1 drive has passed him by, the time for that would have around the time that he was offered Bourdrais' seat at Toro rosso (3 or 4 years ago)... However i think that sportcars car racing would be perfect for him. The schedule of racing is alot less intense than that of rally (really only 5 races plus some testing) to allow him to spend more time with family. Peugoet have commited to Le Mans and the series for at least the next 4 years so guarenteed job. And the chance to finish his very long and incredible career at a French team and then continue on after words as an advisor or even team manager... THIS WILL HAPPEN!



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