Updated: Sep 8
Written by Andrew Lwanga, edited by Tanishka Vashee
9 time WRC Champion Sebastian Loeb is set to make a return to the Championship in 2022 at the opening round in Monte Carlo. Loeb will contest under the M-Sport banner driving the Ford Rally 1 Puma Hybrid which will mark the Frenchman’s first partnership with Ford.
“It’s nice to work with M-Sport, it is a very professional team and one that knows how to build good cars,” said Loeb.
“Since the beginning of my career I was fighting against Ford but I have always known Malcolm [Wilson] to be somebody very involved in the team and passionate about rally, we have always had a good relationship.
“I am really excited for Monte Carlo, it is really an exciting challenge.”
At the moment Loeb is confirmed to only partake in the Rally Monte Carlo. The Frenchman retired from full competition at the end of a title winning campaign in 2012 but has continued to make part time in the series with north of 10 appearances since 2012 including a win in Catalunya in 2018.
“Starting the new WRC regulations with such a strong line-up is something I am very proud of and goes to show the faith that these guys have in the new Puma Rally1.” said M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson.
In order for Loeb’s WRC return to proceed Loeb has been seemingly temporarily released from a contract with Prodrive who are responsible for administrative functions of Hamilton’s X44 with whom Loeb races in Extreme E.
“We agreed with Seb that he would benefit from a few more competitive drives in the WRC and that this will ultimately help his Dakar and Extreme E campaigns,” said David Richards, Prodrive chairman.
“He has shown in Extreme E that he still has the raw pace, frequently setting the fastest times and I have no doubt he has the potential to be fighting for wins in the WRC next year.”