With the Frenchman notching up his eighth Rally Argentina win, we look back at a remarkable record.
Sebastien Loeb waves goodbye to the Argentinian fans after taking his eighth straight victory in the event at what is most likely his last WRC outing here. Let’s take a trip back in time to see his victories through the ages…
In 2012, Citroen had just come off its first non-points scoring rally in nine years after Mikko Hirvonen was disqualified from Rally de Portugal having claimed the victory. So the team was pleased to bag a 1-2 in Argentina, with Hirvonen ordered to hold station behind Loeb in the closing stages.
With the inter-team battle at Citroen between Loeb and Sebastien Ogier beginning to heat up nicely, it was Ogier who blinked in Argentina, rolling his DS3 WRC to give Loeb his sixth victory at the rally.
Rally Argentina wasn’t on the calendar in 2010 – Juho Hanninen won the round that year as part of the International Rally Championship – but in 2009, Loeb was embroiled in a four-way battle with team-mate Dani Sordo and the Ford pairing of Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala. Loeb won, obviously.
When the rally got underway in 2008, it was Mikko Hirvonen who looked set to dominate and deny Loeb his fourth straight victory. With the Finn retiring with broken suspension on Friday, however, Loeb swept into a huge lead over the chasing Subaru of Chris Atkinson.
In the Citroen C4 WRC’s debut year, having replaced the Xsara of 2006, Loeb claimed victory over the hard-charging Ford Focus of Marcus Gronholm. “I had decided to push from the outset just in case Marcus Gronholm tried something," said Loeb after the win.
After spinning on Friday and dropping down to seventh, a combination of Loeb’s speed and his rivals’ misfortunes gave the Frenchman his second win in Argentina, 44.6 seconds ahead of the Subaru Impreza of 2003 world champion Petter Solberg.
The first win for Loeb in Argentina was also a record, with Loeb becoming the first driver in the WRC to claim six victories in a row – a record which still stands – on his way to scoring ten victories in 2005, a record he held until 2008…when he scored eleven.