Loeb ready to bow out at Rally France

Sebastien Loeb has strongly hinted that he will choose the Rally of France to bring down the final curtain on his World Rally Championship next year.

Sebastien Loeb has strongly hinted that he will choose the Rally of France to bring down the final curtain on his World Rally Championship next year.

France's WRC round has been based in Loeb's home region Alsace since 2010. Last weekend it was the scene of Loeb's 75th WRC victory, which secured his ninth consecutive championship.

Loeb has made it clear that this will be his last WRC crown, as he switches to a part-time programme in 2013 before joining the World Touring Car Championship the following year.

He has so far refused to be drawn on his exact 2013 plans, confirming only that he will take part in the Monte Carlo season-opener, but he says he is now tempted to commit to one last home rally to say his final farewell.

"When you see the atmosphere [in France] when it's like this, it's hard to say 'we'll do four [rallies] and not this one'.

"Maybe we'll do this one. To finish my career here would be great."

Asked if he could see himself doing enough 2013 rounds to still win the title even without contesting a full season, Loeb replied: "The plan is not this."

Citroen general manager Frederic Banzet said Sunday's result made Loeb arguably the greatest driver motorsport had ever seen.

"When you think about it, we're getting used to it, which we shouldn't because it is incredible," said Banzet.

"It's fantastic teamwork, and that's what I want to underline. It's a fantastic story, unique in the history of motorsport.

"Sebastien Loeb is clearly the best driver ever, and Citroen the best team in rallying."

Loeb's co-driver Daniel Elena now believes the champion will be even harder to beat in the remaining two 2012 rounds.

"Seventy-five wins is unbelievable, but now why not 76 or 77 before the end of the year?" said Elena.

"Now it's possible to drive without pressure, just for pleasure, which is perfect."