BREAKING: LOEB SIGNS TWO-YEAR CONTRACT WITH HYUNDAI
Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb has signed a two-year contract with Hyundai Motorsport. The Frenchman will be competing in six events next season will be making his Hyundai-début at Rallye Monte Carlo next month.
Loeb returned to the WRC this year with a three-event programme in a Citroën C3 WRC. With as absolute highlight the shock Rally Spain win. The PSA-Group announced in November that Peugeot will pull-out of the World Rallycross Championship after the 2018 season. Which left Loeb without a job for 2019. Loeb’s Hyundai deal is his first (professional) contract outside of the PSA-Group.
It will be a busy January for the 44-year-old, as Loeb will be competing the Dakar Rally next month in a PH-Sport prepared Peugeot 3008DKR. The Dakar rally starts on January 6th and the final stage will take place on January 17th. Rallye Monte Carlo week starts five days later on January 22nd.
Loeb showed this year that he is (still) able to keep up with the pace of the frontrunners in the WRC. Despite not being at the top-level for five seasons and the new generation WRC cars. Loeb's Rally Spain win was key to the speculations for a potential comeback to the WRC. A 2019-programme with Citroën was also a speculation for 2019. However, Abu Dhabi leaving as Citroën's main sponsor meant a three-car line-up wasn’t on the cards anymore.
Loeb: “I am delighted to announce that Daniel and I will compete in six WRC events for Hyundai Motorsport in 2019. Winning at Rally de España re-ignited my desire to continue competing at the very front of WRC. Joining Hyundai will give us a fresh challenge and one that I can’t wait to tackle. I have been impressed with the team’s approach and their determination to succeed.”
Sordo has signed a one-year contract extension with Hyundai Motorsport. The Spaniard will be competing in eighth events in 2019. Sordo’s season starts at Rally Mexico in March. A precise programme for Sordo will be defined later. The Spaniard said:
“Hyundai Motorsport has become a special team to me. We have built some good memories over the years and, alongside Carlos, I felt that 2018 was one of my most competitive seasons. We know that when things work in our favour we can really be strong contenders. We have an exciting crew line-up with Sébastien coming on board. He brings an immeasurable amount of experience which will be a huge benefit to the entire team, as we move forward.”
No information was given about Hayden Paddon…
Photo: Hyundai Motorsport