Loeb to make one-off Extreme E return

The WRC legend and reigning XE champion will replace Nasser Al-Attiyah at Abt Cupra in Sardinia

Sebastien Loeb (FRA), X44

Nine-time World Rally champion Sébastien Loeb will make a one-off return to Extreme E next weekend for the Island X-Prix on Sardinia.

Loeb competed in the first two seasons of Extreme E for Lewis Hamilton’s Team X44 outfit, winning the title alongside Cristina Gutiérrez last year.

He will return to the Extreme E fold for the July 8-9 double-header, standing in for Nasser Al-Attiyah at Abt Cupra as Al-Attiyah will be competing in the clashing Baja World Cup event.

Loeb, who has been focusing on the World Rally-Raid and World Rallycross Championships this year, will share a car with Klara Andersson in the electric off-road category that pairs male and female drivers.

Loeb said: “I’m looking forward to returning to Extreme E after two seasons in the past. It’s a competition that’s similar to rallycross, so I think I’ll be on the pace and ready to fight. It’s also going to be great to discover a new team and meet up with Klara again.”

Andersson is a rival of Loeb’s in World RX, while the driver he replaces – Al-Attiyah – competes against him in W2RC and currently leads the championship with Loeb third.

Abt Cupra team principal Thomas Biermaier added: “Nasser leads the FIA Baja World Cup with two wins and has asked to be allowed to contest the third round on the same weekend – we want to make that possible for him.

“We are happy that together with Cupra we managed to sign Séb as a great stand-in. Having the record world [rally] champion and reigning Extreme E champion on our team is an honor.

“We are all looking forward to the weekend in Sardinia. We want to have a lot of fun together, but also be successful from a sporting perspective – the goal is clearly a win.”

Words:Mark Paulson