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Loeb: "No plan at the moment" for WRC return in 2023

Rally legend Sebastien Loeb says he has “no plan at the moment” to return to the World Rally Championship for selected events this season.

#201 Bahrain Raid Xtreme Prodrive: Sebastien Loeb

The nine-time world rally champion contested four WRC rounds with M-Sport Ford last year, which included a memorable victory at Monte Carlo. The Frenchman also led in Portugal and Greece before being forced to retire.

Loeb has been absent from the WRC this season despite M-Sport harbouring hopes a deal could be reached with the 49-year-old, who was open to adding WRC events to his schedule, earlier this year.

The 80-time WRC rally winner was unable to contest Monte Carlo due to his Dakar Rally commitments as part of a full season campaign in the World Rally-Raid Championship.

In addition to that programme, Loeb is also contesting a full season in the World Rallycross Championship, driving an all-electric Lancia Delta Evo, while last weekend he returned to Extreme E for the Island X-Prix in Sardinia with Abt Cupra.

M-Sport stated in March that it would only consider adding to its two car WRC line-up if it needed to take points from its rivals to assist lead driver Ott Tanak’s title push. Tanak is currently 42 points away from championship leader Toyota’s Kalle Rovanpera.

Asked by Autosport if he had any WRC plans on the horizon, Loeb replied: “There is no plan at the moment.”

He also affirmed that his return to Extreme E, the all-electric series he won last year, is a one-off.

Klara Andersson, Sebastian Loeb, Abt Cupra XE

Klara Andersson, Sebastian Loeb, Abt Cupra XE

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

“The plan at the moment is to come for one race,” he said. “I had this proposition and Cupra asked me if I would be happy to do one round and I said yes. That is where we are at the moment and there is no plan for the future.”

Loeb finished fourth and sixth in the Extreme E double-header in Sardinia, racing alongside Swede Klara Andersson.

This weekend Loeb is due to be back in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where he is set to pilot his WRX Lancia Delta Evo, weather-permitting.

The event is also celebrating 50 years of the WRC with an array of cars tackling the hillclimb and Forest Rally Stage, including Rally1 cars from the M-Sport, Toyota and Hyundai WRC teams.

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