Loeb relaxed ahead of Rally GB glory bid
But despite claiming his eighth FIA World Rally Championship crown on the event last year, 2011 will forever be remembered as the win that got away when he retired from the lead battle on the final morning after he was involved in a collision with a member of the public leaving stage 18, Halfway.
Loeb, who had already secured the 2011 world crown when closest rival Mikko Hirvonen retired on the opening day, was approximately two kilometres into the 7.45-kilometre liaison section heading to the Crychan test when he and co-driver Daniel Elena collided with a hire car belonging to two Spanish fans on route to the stage finish to support their hero Dani Sordo. The incident happened after a crest on a narrow section of road. Fortunately there were no injures to any of the occupants although Loeb’s Citroen DS3 WRC was damaged beyond immediate repair.
“We were on a road section and hit a car front on,” said Loeb at the time. “I moved to the side [of the road] but we are in [Wales] and he is not [Welsh] so he went on the wrong side and we crashed. It was not a big impact but the radiator is holed, so we cannot go on. That’s it. But okay, we are world champion so no problems.”
Loeb can help Citroen to an eighth manufacturers’ crown on Rally GB this week but also boost his own chances of a ninth drivers’ title. “It’s a rally that I like and we’ve got some good memories from the last few years,” he said. “This year, it would be good to win and secure an eighth world title for the team. That would also make us ideally placed to win a ninth championship at the Rallye de France. However, I’m not obsessed by that, by any means. I’ll be approaching this rally just like any other.”