Loeb returns in a hybrid Ford for Monte Carlo Rally

Paris (AFP) – Nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb will make a brief cameo in next year's World Rally Championship when he takes part in the opening round in Monte Carlo in January, the M-Sport Ford team announced on Tuesday.


"The legendary French driver will be behind the wheel of the new Ford Puma Rally 1 car for the 2022 Rallye Monte-Carlo, an event he has won seven times previously," the team said in a statement in English.

The 47-year-old, who won the last of his titles in 2012, "will join forces with co-driver Isabelle Galmiche, a long time member of Loeb’s gravel crew," said M-Sport.

Loeb, who has tested the Ford Puma Hybrid 1 on several occasions in recent weeks, made his last appearance in the WRC at the Rally of Turkey last year when he came third.

Another Frenchman, Adrien Fourmaux, has also been named as the team's third full-time driver alongside Craig Breen and Gus Greensmith in a "new and exciting hybrid era".

The 26-year-old finished fifth in the Rally of Croatia in 2021 and collected his first stage win during the Safari Rally Kenya.

"The young driver has been dubbed a rising star and on track to follow in the footsteps of his fellow successful countrymen," said M-Sport.