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Sébastien the great

1 year ago

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Writer:

Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder

Date:

7 October 2022

I know very little about rallying and with Dan and Henry on the Ti contributor roster, nor do I really need to. But even I have heard of Sébastien Loeb and, indeed, had done so when I flew to France in 2009 to meet the bloke and his Citroën C4 WRC rally car. It was an enlightening experience.

We met on a gravel stage next to Paul Ricard. Away from the glitz of Formula 1, Citroën Racing were happy to pitch a few small tents on a patch of land only the charitable would call a field. As I arrived the world’s greatest rally driver was relieving himself against a tree. It felt like going for an audience with our late Queen, being walked through Buckingham Palace to a small shed in the garden and finding Her Maj at the sink, Marigolds on, up to her elbows in dishes.

Loeb’s all conquering C4 was there too, not polished down to the rivets for the benefit of our photographer’s lens, but bearing the scuffs, scratches, dents and, above all, dirt of a hard life on a special stage diet. This was not some carefully choreographed, media-managed arm’s-length introduction to the C4 WRC: it is me, the C4 and the stage. Plus, of course, Monsieur Loeb.

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