Sebastien Loeb gets six-round WRC deal with Hyundai

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb will contest six rounds of next year’s championship with Hyundai, after signing a two-year deal with the manufacturer.

Loeb took nine straight titles between 2004 and 2012, after which he scaled back his involvement, focusing on World Touring Cars and World Rallycross.

Loeb participated in three rallies in 2018 and clinched victory, the 79th of his career, at Rally Spain.

Hyundai will field Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen for a full campaign with Loeb sharing the third car with Dani Sordo.

Sordo is set to contest the eight events that Loeb will miss.

Next year’s season opener in Monte Carlo will be the first time that Loeb has contested a rally outside of Citroen colours.

“I am delighted to announce that [co-driver] Daniel [Elena] and I will compete in six WRC events for Hyundai Motorsport in 2019, beginning with Rallye Monte-Carlo,” said Loeb.

“Winning at Rally de España this season re-ignited my desire to continue competing at the very front of WRC.

“Joining Hyundai will give us a fresh challenge and one that I can’t wait to tackle.

“I have been impressed with the team’s approach and their determination to succeed.

“They were firmly in the title fight this season and I feel that I can bring a lot to them, together with Thierry, Andreas and Dani.

“The Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC is a proven rally winner, and as a crew we know can still be up there with the best, so 2019 promises to be an exciting season.”