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Loeb: Not easy to step back

Sebastien Loeb says it was a difficult decision to stand down from a full-time WRC drive
Sebastien Loeb says the decision to only complete a part campaign in the World Rally Championship next season wasn't easy, but has revealed he was tired of the time taken up by a full season.

Loeb confirmed last week that he would only compete on certain events in 2013 after Citroen announced it was committing itself to the series, with Mikko Hirvonen now taking over as lead driver for a full-time assault on the championship.

Loeb meanwhile will start his season in Monte Carlo, with selected events 'that are important for Citroen' also on the agenda.

“It wasn't an easy decision to take,” he said. “On the one hand, I have to admit that I am little tired of the schedule imposed by the World Rally Championship. What with the test sessions, reconnaissance and the various other things, I spend a lot of time away from my family. Having said that, I still love driving and winning. This season seems to show that I still have the pace, but I didn't want to stop after competing in one season too many either.

“I'll still be around in 2013, but not as consistently as now, competing at rallies that I like and which are important for Citroen. I couldn't not include the Rallye Monte-Carlo in my diary, so I'll be starting the season on January 15 along with everyone else!”

Citroen has also revealed that it would consider putting together a World Touring Car Championship programme for Loeb in 2014, and he said he was excited by the prospect of racing elsewhere.

“In the last few months, I have held lots of discussions with Frédéric Banzet and Yves Matton,” he said. “Over the last ten years, I could have taken up offers to go elsewhere, but I have always preferred to stay with the team that gave me my chance.

“When we started talking about the role of ambassador that I might have in the future, I quickly felt that I would need an active role to feel completely satisfied. Given that I wanted to pursue my career in track racing, we came up with this idea together. After considering the various racing categories, the WTCC emerged as the best option. There are still a number of variables and imponderables in the equation, but I am excited about the prospect of competing in this championship.”

Loeb could wrap up his ninth title this weekend on home soil if he finishes ahead of team-mate Hirvonen and the Frenchman said he was hopeful of securing honours in front of his countrymen.



Tagged as: Sébastien Loeb , Citroën

Related Pictures

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Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total World Rally Team
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Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)

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MT Motorsport - Unregistered

October 03, 2012 5:50 AM

Seb is without the best the WRC has ever seen. People can go on about the competition (or lack of it in some eyes) but he competed and won against the very best, Colin, Carlos, Tommi, Richard, Petter & Marcus. Mr Gronholm was the only one that gave him a bit of a squeeze and that was when Ford were throwing everything they could at the sport to win it yet they failed. The man is a machine and his drive and love for the sport has not deminished one bit. This should really be his 10th title as he should have won it in 2003 but sacrificed his own glory at rally GB for the team. He is a motorport legend and a nice guy to boot, met him a couple of time and like Carlos, would give you time to chat. Hope he wins this weekend and goes on to other things.

Ray Man - Unregistered

October 03, 2012 2:16 PM

Who cares about eye candy, charisma, back flips or if you get your panties in a happy twist. What Loeb has done will never be duplicated or surpassed in the future. How lucky we are to have witnessed the greatest rally driver to have lived (or will ever live). I wish Loeb to get to the Dakar next, and back to Le Mans, etc. etc. :-)



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