Loeb Relaxes Before Rally Japan

Loeb prepares for take-offSebastien is given the last few pieces of advice before getting on the Alpha jetA few more minutes to take-off...He's already getting comfortable in the Alpha jetReady... Go!The Patrouille de FranceLoeb, after his 'relaxing' experience with the Patrouille de FranceGroup photo with the Patrouille de France
Only days before the start of Rally Japan this weekend, 4-time world champion Sebastien Loeb decided to relax a bit and took on an invitation from the French Acrobatic Patrol (PF) to fly over the Provence region in the French Alps. After a short briefing with the pilots and the mechanics from PF, the Frenchman took on the passenger role for a full hour.

“It was an unforgettable experience, and a dream come true for me. The Patrouille de France represents France across the world and I am proud to have been invited to join them today. They are all passionate about their flying and there are several parallels with rallying, including the efficiency of the vocabulary and terms they use to communicate from plane to plane, which wasn't unlike the pace notes we use on stages,” said Loeb according to WRC News.

He added: “I'm not used to being a passenger, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It wasn't scary, either; Captain Bourgeon's flying is extremely precise and he is clearly in control. I had every confidence, so I just say back and profited as much as I could from the flight”.

The Alpha Jet that took the WRC champion over Sainte Baume Mountain, Saint Tropez, Orange and Gap was flown by Captain Ludovic Bourgeon.

Loeb will now have to take on another flight – this time a business-related one – to Japan in order to secure his 5th consecutive world title inside the WRC. The Citroen driver is currently leading the overall classification with an impressive 106 points, 14 more than Ford's rival Mikko Hirvonen with only 2 rallies to go in the season.

Citroen World rally Team is also holding a comfortable lead in the constructors' standings, scoring 20 points more than rivals Ford throughout the season. Nevertheless, Hirvonen is favorite for clinching 1st place at Sapporo on Sunday, as he won Rally Japan last year before Citroen's Daniel Sordo. Should Loeb clinch at least 3rd place at the end of the Japanese weekend, he will become the first rally driver in history to clinch 5 consecutive titles in WRC.
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