10.09.12

Saluting Sebastien Loeb: 9 things we learned about Loeb

After four dramatic days in the Alsace, here's what we learned about the man who turned eight into nine: Sebastien Loeb.

1: There was no chance of Sebastien Loeb speeding on the liaison sections during last week’s Rallye de France - his Citroen DS3 WRC was constantly surrounded by police outriders, there to try and allow the Frenchman a safe passage through the thousands of cars who’d come to town to see him.

2: He won more stages on last week’s Alsace-based Rallye de France than ever before. He managed eight this time, one more than 2010 and a lot more than 2011, when his engine went bang on stage three.

3: He almost made himself late leaving service on the final morning of Rallye de France last week, because he was trying to watch the start of the Japanese Grand Prix.

4: Loeb Events, the company run by Sebastien’s wife Severine, put on eight buses and six helicopters to cope with demand from fans of the nine-time world champion watching in Alsace last week.

5: Despite having family living close to Rallye de France last week, the Loebs stayed in the team hotel in Strasbourg and treated the event the same as any one of the other WRC rounds he competes on.

6: Sebastien Loeb is too popular for his own town. The French superstar’s hopes of going out to eat with his friends and family were dashed by the fact that he would have been signing an autograph between every mouthful.

7: Loeb’s Rallye de France result was his 125th point-scoring finish in the FIA World Rally Championship...

8: ... and an event where he secured his 874th World Rally Championship career stage win.

9: And finally... after celebrating title number nine, Loeb announced in Alsace that he’d be back in town next year - not chasing title number 10, but certainly in pursuit of a third champagne moment in Strasbourg.