Loeb back behind the wheel ahead of Turkey return

The nine-time champion hasn't sat in a Hyundai since the Monte but was back this week, preparing for Rally Turkey


Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb was back behind the wheel of a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC this week for the first time since January.

The Frenchman skipped Rally Sweden and Rally México, and unlike Hyundai team-mates Ott Tänak, Thierry Neuville, Craig Breen and Dani Sordo, he hasn’t tested or competed in any rallies since the lockdown. That means Loeb’s been on the sidelines since the Monte-Carlo Rally almost eight months ago.

He was the first driver to get behind the wheel of the Alzenau team’s test car on stages close to the route for the Acropolis Rally in Loutraki. The aim? To dial the car out of fast-gravel, Estonian mode and into the rough roads that lie ahead in Turkey next week.

Loeb will make his first WRC appearance since the season-opening Monte in the third Hyundai on Rally Turkey, taking place on September 18-20.


Loeb said: “It’s nice to be back in the car and nice to come here in Greece. It was always nice to come here for the rally. I always enjoyed this one and have very good memories of good results and some victories. Also some complicated memories of a big crash one time [in 2009].

“It’s always a pleasure to be here and this is a good place to prepare for the next event in Turkey – the profile for the road is the same and I hope we can make a good result on the next event.”

Neuville tested in the same area on Tuesday with Rally Estonia winner and defending world champion Tänak in the car today (Wednesday).