In Portugal, Loeb will rely on the assistance of Isabelle Galmiche, the first woman to record an overall event win in WRC since 1997. Meanwhile, the French rally driver’s return coincides with the 50th anniversary celebration of the FIA World Rally Championship, which means fans will be able to witness a variety of planned activities throughout that weekend.
For those who don’t know, Loeb managed to win in his debut in Portugal back in 2007, after winning 11 of 18 stages. He then won the event again in 2009, before adding another two podium finishes and a total of 32 stage wins to his belt.
“Driving the Puma is one of my favorite rally memories; winning Monte Carlo after such a long time was incredible. The team worked really well, with a quick fix to the difficulties we faced at shakedown, allowing us to claim our 80th rally win. From my first test with this car, I immediately had a very good feeling and I enjoy driving with so much power from the hybrid system. It’s a great car, a great team and we celebrated an incredible moment together,” said the Frenchman.
Loeb also said that another reason for choosing Portugal this year was because he wanted to “do a gravel rally,” adding that he actually enjoys driving on gravel, making this a straightforward choice.