Sebastien Loeb: Nothing decided despite test on gravel
Record World Champion Sebastien Loeb has completed a test on gravel with Citroen – but his possible future in the World Rally Championship is still open
Sebastien Loeb has carried out another test for the World Rally Championship (WRC) with Citroen, this time on gravel.Are the points set for a WRC return of the Frenchman?The chance of Loeb’s return to the WRC depends on the result of the gravel test near Girona with Citroen.Despite the positive results, the nine-time WRC champion has not commented on a possible return.
The Frenchman’s most recent one-off start in 2015 was the Monte Carlo Rally.After testing the Citroen C3 WRC on asphalt in July, he said he would not make a decision until he had also tested the car on gravel.Yves Matton told’ Motorsport-Total. com’ that no agreement between Loeb and Citroen would be reached before Wednesday.
Most likely, however, is a limited WRC programme by the rally specialist.After his gravel test, Loeb tells’ Motorsport-Total. com’:”I don’t know how many kilometres I’ve covered.There were a lot of them and it felt good.It was great testing the vehicle on gravel.I haven’t driven a WRC vehicle on loose ground in five years.”
Most recently, Loeb started on a gravel road in the 2013 Argentine Rally.He finished his full-time program in Spain in 2012, where he won his ninth title.He adds:”For me, the big question was whether I could steer the current WRC cars on gravel as best I could.It felt really good very quickly.I felt very comfortable in the vehicle.”
“It was a big surprise for me how quickly I got used to the car.However, I have no references whatsoever with regard to the current generation of WRC vehicles.That’s why I don’t know how the other cars can be steered.The C3 is really easy to manoeuvre in bends.On fast sections it is a bit more difficult.I miss the grip on the rear axle.”
“But that’s the only problem.Otherwise, the car is really good.Now we are working on increasing the grip.We look at different solutions and then decide which one is the best.All in all, the car isn’t bad,”said Loeb.When asked what the test would mean for his future, he answers:”Nothing has been decided yet.We need to evaluate today’s results first.”
While Stephane Lefebvre was at the wheel of the C3 on Tuesday, Kris Meeke took over the cockpit on Thursday.Meeke and Lefebvre will also be joined by Khalild Al Qassimi at the WRC round in Spain, which will take place in two weeks’ time.