Loeb's WRC rivals reckon he is among Tour de Corse win favourites

Despite not competing on Corsica for a decade, Sebastien Loeb's World Rally Championship rivals say the Frenchman starts among the favourites for victory at this week's Tour de Corse

Loeb's WRC rivals reckon he is among Tour de Corse win favourites

Loeb made a storming return to the WRC by leading last month's Rally Mexico before a puncture ruled out him out of the race for victory in Leon.

The nine-time champion, and four-time Corsica winner, has tested his Citroen C3 WRC for two days on the island and is confident the feeling will come to him quicker on asphalt than it did on the loose surface in Mexico.

"In Mexico I was curious to see where I was, I really wanted to be in the fight and I managed that," he said.

"I hope to be in the fight this week."

His rivals will take those words as a warning of his potential threat.

When asked what he expected from his countryman and rival, M-Sport Ford's Sebastien Ogier told Autosport: "[Mexico] was not bad for him and on Tarmac he is strong also - he did some rallies [on asphalt] so he'll have the rhythm again.

"Possibly he can be even stronger in Corsica. We definitely need to show we have improved our car because the C3 last year was untouchable on Tarmac."

During Loeb's full-time presence in the WRC, France shifted its round of the series from Corsica to his home region of Alsace.

Rallying's highest level returned to Bastia in 2015 and has remained there for three years.

Four of the seven stages that will be used this week are new for everybody, which will help Loeb, but his other knowledge of the route won't be as comprehensive as it was in Mexico.

"In Mexico I had driven quite a lot of the stages, but it won't be like it in Corsica, I will have to discover a lot of the roads," he said.

"But I like Corsica, I have good memories and I've always been competitive on Tarmac.

Loeb's team-mate Kris Meeke is in no doubt about what the WRC can expect from the championship's most successful driver.

"I think he can go quicker again," Meeke said. "Sixty per cent of the route is new in Corsica and that's only going to help him."

Loeb's former team-mate Dani Sordo, a man who has twice shared the Corsican podium with him, echoed those sentiments: "He will be dangerous in Corsica, we know that."

"He was good in Mexico, like we expected, but sometimes he is even more at home when he is on the asphalt."

shares
comments
FIA ratifies WRC powerstage rule change to stop tactical check-ins

Previous article

FIA ratifies WRC powerstage rule change to stop tactical check-ins

Next article

Tour de Corse: Kris Meeke plays down surprising shakedown margin

Tour de Corse: Kris Meeke plays down surprising shakedown margin
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Loeb
Author David Evans
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021