Sebastien Loeb’s World Rally Championship career has seen some incredible highs – and some lows. We ask him to name his greatest and darkest moments behind the wheel…
Heading into the 2011 WRC season, Seb’s won more titles (seven) and more events (62) than any other driver. But even legends of the sport like Loeb don’t get it right all the time. A crash on a rally in his native France back in 1998 left him fearing his career would be over almost before it had begun after he wrecked his rally car not once, but twice in quick succession.
Best day: World champion on home soil
"My best day? Well, winning my seventh championship at home with the people who have supported me for all of my career, all of my life was certainly very special. The rallies before were difficult, I didn’t enjoy Japan [the event immediately before] and, yes, I was thinking about what might happen at home, but then it happened. For me, the rally was good, there was no trouble at all.
'I was leading all of the race and the car was perfect'
"The feeling going through my home town on that Sunday afternoon was incredible. Just amazing. I couldn’t really find the words to describe how it was when I got out of the car at the end. There were so many people there, it was unbelievable, we needed the police to be able to come through the crowds. I will never forget it."
Worst day: Crash and crash again
"We had a crash on a rally in my Citroen Saxo back in 1998, which was a real problem because we relied on the prize money we could win to keep competing. We used the insurance money to get it fixed for the next event, so it was okay. But before the rally we crashed again in a test and I was just so ashamed because we had no money left to repair the car.
'I really thought at this point my career was finished'
"We had no more money to carry on. I said to my team manager that I crashed into a deer but this wasn’t true. It was my mistake. Fortunately, after a lot of effort, we found the money to do the next event and things eventually worked out okay for me."