Elena would not do Monte if Loeb makes WRC return

DirtFish understands if Loeb does the 2022 Monte Carlo Rally it will be with a new co-driver

Sébastien Loeb

Sébastien Loeb won’t compete with Daniel Elena should he start the opening round of the 2022 World Rally Championship, the Monte Carlo Rally.

Loeb and Elena won nine world titles together for Citroën between 2004 and 2012, and have continued competing sporadically since with Citroën and then Hyundai in 2019 and ‘20.

The pair’s partnership ended in March this year but only for cross-country rallying, as Elena sat alongside Loeb when he drove his Peugeot 306 Maxi to sixth overall on Rally Mont-Blanc Morzine.

However if Loeb does sign for M-Sport – which appears likely – he will do his first WRC event without Elena as Isabelle Galmiche will partner him.

Galmiche was with Loeb for his second M-Sport test near Gap on Thursday. She has only six WRC starts to her name – most recently in 2017 when she won the WRC Trophy class on Rally Germany – but is a regular on French national rallies and has previously tested with Loeb when he was a Citroën driver.

Jean-Michel Raoux, Laurent Magat

Galmiche en route to WRC Trophy victory

The 50-year-old has 10 overall wins in the French Cup, and does have a decade of experience co-driving World Rally Cars including Citroën chassis that had previously been piloted to WRC success by Loeb.

DirtFish understands it was Elena’s decision not to compete on the Monte.

“From what we’re told, it’s Danos’ decision not to co-drive with Séb [in Monte Carlo],” a source confirmed to DirtFish.

“He’s busy with other things now, but there’s no doubt those guys are still friends.”