Sebastien Loeb secured victory for the Abu Dhabi Total Citroën Racing WRC Team at Rally Spain on Sunday.
The nine time World Rally Champion had a great final day thanks to an inspired tyre choice and fantastic performances in the final four stages.
The Frenchman scored his first WRC win since Argentina 2013, coming home 2.9s ahead of Sebastien Ogier.
Speaking following the the rally, Loeb said:
“It was an almighty scrap, right to the bitter end. When I saw that I had won on the display at the end of the final stage, it was a truly incredible feeling! It’s really nice to have managed to be on the pace again after all these years, because the guys haven’t stood still whilst I’ve been away and they really pushed hard every inch of the way. I couldn’t afford to drag my heels in getting my bearings back on the gravel on Friday, or on the wet tarmac yesterday either. We were quick this morning after making the right call on tyres and then we held on, despite a minor error on the penultimate stage. Right now, given how the rally panned out, I’d be tempted to say it’s perhaps my greatest win and I’m delighted to secure what is a richly-deserved result for the team.”
Loeb’s team mate Craig Breen came home in ninth place overall following a tough weekend for the Irishman.
Speaking following the event, the Waterford native said:
“It was a difficult weekend for us, even though we had great speed at times, especially on the gravel. But we lost a lot of time with our spins. We had nothing to play for today, but we enjoyed ourselves behind the wheel and that was the aim, so we can head for Australia in the best possible frame of mind.”
Khalid Al Qassimi finished the rally in 21st place overall and speaking following the event he said:
With the unpredictable weather, it wasn’t an easy race for me. We improved gradually on gravel, on tarmac, I wasn’t comfortable on the wet roads yesterday, but I had more confidence today.”