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Sebastien Loeb to make WRC return in 2018

2016 Dakar Rally - Day Forteen

RIO CUARTO, ARGENTINA - JANUARY 16: Sebastien Loeb of France in the PEUGEOT 2008 DKR for TEAM PEUGEOT TOTAL arrives at the end of stage thirteen between Villa Carlos Paz and Rosario on day fourteen of the 2016 Dakar Rally on January 16, 2016 Rio Cuarto, Argentina. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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Sebastien Loeb will make his return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2018 after three years away, having signed a three-event agreement with Citroen.

Loeb ruled the rally world between 2004 and 2012, taking nine consecutive world titles with Citroen before stepping away from the series in order to pursue other racing interests in touring cars and rallycross.

Loeb made his last WRC appearance in 2015 when he entered the Rallye Monte Carlo, but fueled speculation over a possible comeback when he tested for Citroen earlier this year.

The French manufacturer confirmed on Wednesday that Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena would be returning for the rallies in Mexico, Corsica and Spain next year, replacing Craig Breen for all three rounds.

“The feeling you get in rally is one of the most thrilling feelings I’ve ever experienced, and I was excited about driving one of these new WRCs in a race,” Loeb said.

“It’s nice to be able to do it in the team with which I’ve enjoyed so much success. Everyone was pleased after the test sessions done this year, myself first and foremost, and these three appearances were the logical next step.

“I don’t have any expectations, I just want to enjoy myself. I thought it made sense to take part in the French round, especially since I’ve always loved racing on tarmac, although I’m not familiar with the current route of the Tour de Corse.

“Spain seemed like a good option too. And although I’m expecting it to be pretty tough given the time that has passed since I last competed there, I also wanted to contest a gravel rally.

“We opted for Mexico, since I have good memories of racing there and the route hasn’t changed too much since I was last involved in the championship.”

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