Sebastien Loeb wins 9th consecutive WRC title
Citroen works WRC driver has claimed his 9th consecutive World Driver’s Championship this weekend at the Rallye de France – his home rally – making him the most successful motorsports competitor ever.
Only Valentino Rossi can claim more titles, but if you include Loeb’s junior WRC title (as Rossi includes his feeder categories), the Frenchman takes yet another win. It is undoubtedly an icredibly impressive feat, winning 9 consecutive titles, but what we wonder is – has Loeb’s success killed the WRC?
In the 1990s, the WRC championship was a massive event, with the Mitsubishi vs. Subaru wars raging on rally after rally with some of the greatest drivers ever, not to mention the Toyota and Ford rally teams before that. Now however, the WRC appears to be the Citroen and Loeb Show, featuring some other teams. Viewing figures year on year have been steadily dropping, with this season being watched by around one third of the viewers of the 2001 season.
Loeb appears to be aware of this, and in all honesty he must be getting bored – there isn’t a great challenge to a racing driver when you’re almost guaranteed a win. He will only be competing a part season next year as he will be concentrating on competing in the World Touring Car Championship, which we are very much looking forward to seeing. Will he be able to transfer his skills to a new discipline and win again? Don’t bet against him, would be our advice.
So it would seem that this win will be Loeb’s last WRC title, though whether it will be joined on the shelf by a WTCC trophy remains to be seen…
Image courtesy of Citroen