Sébastien Loeb

Date of Birth:26 Feb 74
Car:Citroen C4 WRC
Team:Citroen Total World Rally Team
Co-driver:Daniel Elena
FIA Championship Titles:WRC Drivers’ Champion 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010
FIA Super 1600 Drivers’ Cup Champion in 2001
WRC Debut:New Zealand 2004
WRC Rally Wins:65
Rallies: 144
Podiums 99
Stage wins 774
Total points 1185
First rally 1999 Rally Catalunya
First win 2002 Rallye Deutschland

Often referred to as the Michael Schumacher of rallying, Loeb is glacially cool, totally focussed and sublimely quick in all conditions. But Loeb's rise to stardom has been even more rapid than Schumacher's record in Formula One. In his first full year in 2003, Loeb almost took the title. In his second year, he easily clinched the crown with a record-matching six wins. In his third, he broke all records with 10 wins (including six in a row) to seal his reputation as rallying's top dog. In 2006 he took his third consecutive title without even contesting the last four rounds of the championship after he broke his shoulder falling off a mountain bike.
Despite a background as a gymnast, Loeb developed a bug for rallying in his late teens. In 1998 he took two wins in the French Citroen Saxo Trophy series before securing the title the following year. He was nurtured by the French team and its figurehead, rally legend Guy Frequelin, through the French national series and the Junior Super 1600 class of the WRC, which he won in 2001. At the same time he contested several WRC events in Citroen's Xsara WRC, proving to be just as adept at the top level.
In 2002 Loeb scored his first WRC win in Germany, but over 2003 and 2004 rapidly developed his speed and consistency on gravel and snow to become an all-round performer with wins on all surface types. He proved his class in 2003 by chasing Subaru's Petter Solberg to the title until the final round, and went one better in 2004 with a performance that was one of the best of recent years. No-one expected the domination of 2005, though, as he broke record after record and proved himself to be one of rallying's all-time greats.
Loeb was relegated to a private team Citroen Xsara WRC for 2006, as the French marque took a sabbatical before its return in 2007. The Frenchman, however, took a third consecutive drivers' title with Kronos Racing and achieved the status of the most successful rally driver in history when he beat the record of 26 career victories set by Carlos Sainz.
In 2007, Loeb was back with Citroen Sport driving the new C4 WRC. Although it was a new car, this didn’t get in the way of the Frenchman as he drove to a fourth consecutive crown. Unfortunately for the competition, 2008 turned out to be another vintage year for Loeb, who broke his own record for wins in one season by taking 11 - including Finland and Wales Rally GB, which to that point had remained the two ‘classic’ rallies he hadn’t cracked.
His most recent title was secured in 2009, but it wasn't an easy ride. After a storming start to the season, and five wins from five rallies, Loeb suffered a run of uncharacteristically bad luck. A time penalty in Sardegna was followed by a high-speed roll in Greece, and then an accident in Poland which broke his car's front subframe. The season that had started so well ended with a last round scrap with championship leader, Mikko Hirvonen. Loeb's eleventh hour victory in Wales secured him the title by a single point - the narrowest winning margin since 2006.
Ending 2009 with a career tally of 54 WRC victories, Loeb is easily the WRC's most successful driver - and this year he won his seventh consecutive drivers' title.
The 2010 WRC season started with the snow-based Swedish Rally, where Loeb finished second behind Ford's Mikko Hirvonen. He went on to take a clear championship lead by winning the following three gravel events: Rally México, Jordan Rally and Rally of Turkey. In New Zealand, Loeb finished third in a tight battle that saw the top five finish within 26 seconds of each other. In Portugal, Loeb narrowly lost the win to his countryman Sébastien Ogier of the Citroën Junior Team, who took his debut win in the World Rally Championship. In the following Rally Bulgaria, a new event in the series and the season's first tarmac rally, Loeb won while Citroën scored the WRC's first 1–2–3–4 in seventeen years.
At the 60th Rally Finland, Loeb beat Citroën privateer Petter Solberg to the final podium position, behind Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala and Ogier. He went on to win the Rallye Deutschland for the eighth time in a row, marking the first time a driver has won a WRC rally eight times. After a fifth place in Japan, Loeb secured a record-extending seventh consecutive World Rally Championship title by winning his home event, the Rallye de France. As the Rallye de France–Alsace had replaced the Tour de Corse as the French round of the WRC, Loeb ended up clinching the title on a final stage that was held in his home town of Haguenau, Alsace.