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France12.02.2014

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Sebastien Loeb was in the fight for success for his final appearance in the World Rally Championship at home in Alsace area, forced to retire on the last day. Another Sebastien, Ogier, won and took over Loeb as world champions.

Fond farewell for Loeb

WRCfra2The facts
A nine-time world champion, among the greatest drivers of all-time, Loeb has bowed to rally by delighting his fans for a couple of days, in his fourth guest-appearance this season. On Sunday morning, Loeb and his co-driver Daniel Elena sat fourth only 5 seconds to leader Jari-Matti Latvala.
Though Sunday’s race lasted only one kilometre for Loeb. In the soaked Vignoble de Cleebourg, the champion lost the rear of his DS3 WRC and rolled his Citroën DS3 WRC into a ditch. Ogier took the opportunity to succeed his country-mate. By Thursday, he pocketed the championship crown by finishing third in the Power Stage in Strasbourg. After three hard-fought days, he climbed top of the podium ahead of Dani Sordo and Latvala.

The figure
900 . – By winning Saturday in the 10th special stage, Loeb triumphed in a timed sector for the 900th time in his WRC career.

The quote
“We’re not injured, it was the final rally we came to have fun. We could have fun for one more day. I’m sorry for those who expected me in the city of Haguenau [his native town]. It’s a shame.” As simple and easy-going ha has been in his sumptuous career, Loeb turned to a new era, not on the road but on the tracks in WTCC.

The story
Sordo indirectly allowed Ogier to be crowned world champion in the Power Stage, on Thursday night. By winning, the Spanish denied Thierry Neuville points that would have allowed him to keep hopes alive.

Next up
Rally Espana (24-27 October, asphalt and gravel)

12.02.2014