Sebastien Loeb is pretty much the Michael Schumacher of motor rally. He and Monégasque sidekick Daniel Elena won the World Rally Championship drivers’ title nine times in a row from 2004 to 2012. All of these titles were won exclusively with Citroen. After announcing his retirement from full-time rallying in 2012, Loeb is once again eager to tear through the special stages in 2019—this time with Hyundai.
The Korean carmaker has confirmed that Loeb and Elena have signed a two-year contract to drive for Hyundai’s works rally team. This past season, the Frenchman returned to rallying for three rounds with Citroen, which concluded with a win at Rally de España, his 79th career victory. Alas, Loeb’s hopes of joining the team for a full-time drive would not materialize as the French automotive firm confirmed a two-car lineup for the 2019 WRC calendar.
Hyundai, on the other hand, has achieved great success in the sport in the past few years. The Asian team has finished runner-up in the constructors’ championship for the last two years. By signing up Loeb, Hyundai is confident it will achieve its goal of winning a WRC title in 2019. The ace rally driver will compete in six rounds of next year’s series alongside Spanish WRC veteran Dani Sordo in a car-sharing deal.
Prior to joining Hyundai, Loeb competed in several other racing disciplines such as the World Touring Car Championship and the Dakar Rally.