Frenchman Sébastien Loeb has taken his 80th World Rally Championship victory at the Monte Carlo Rally, in a Ford Puma.
This event marked the debut of WRC’s first hybrid powertrain ruleset. Each vehicle carries a 130 horsepower (100kW) electric motor and combined with a 1.6-litre direct-injection four-cylinder turbocharged engine; these cars are capable of producing around 500 horsepower (372kW). The 47-year-old, competing for the British M-Sport Ford squad in a one-off appearance, won the event by 10.5 seconds over his compatriot and eight-time WRC Champion, Sébastien Ogier. Loeb, himself a nine-time WRC Champion, trailed Ogier in a Toyota GR Yaris by almost half a minute heading into the penultimate stage of the four-day event, held on the 20th January – 23 January 2022. Ogier, however suffered a front left tyre puncture on this stage and had to nurse his car to the finish. On the final stage, Loeb started with a 9.5 second lead. Ogier jumped the start and was handed a ten-second time penalty, allowing Loeb and co-driver Isabelle Galmiche to take a famous victory. Such was the pace of the two French drivers, Craig Breen in a Ford Puma finished third, 90 seconds behind Ogier. The championship switches to Scandinavia next month for Rally Sweden, that takes place on 24 – 27 February.If you enjoy this website, please donate to help it grow.