Loeb in the house... A glimpse of the future?
Sébastien Loeb's surprise visit to the Dakar bivouac was nothing but a bit of tourism... Right?
Where do race drivers go on holiday? To a car race, for instance! Sébastien Loeb, who will go back to racing when the WTCC season kicks off in April, has set himself a series of challenge including the Termas de Río Hondo circuit, home to one of the twelve legs of the world championship. Apart from spinning around the track, the most successful rally driver in history could not resist the call of the nearby bivouac: "I knew the Dakar would be in the area at the same time, so I thought it would be cool to go and see it from up close instead of just watching it on the telly. A few friends of mine are racing here, so it's an opportunity to drop by and say 'hello'", explained the VIP guest in the hospitality area set up by the energy drink brand he represents.
Of course, not everyone agrees on Loeb's reasons for coming to check out the Dakar. Quite a few journalists wanted to know whether he was testing the waters ahead of a future shot at the race. Loeb did not rule it out, but asked for some time. "I'm just here to see what it looks like and, of course, it makes you want to take part. But it won't be soon, not in 2015, at any rate. It's got to be an amazing race to be in, but I like to do things properly and right now I'm focused on the upcoming WTCC season. The Dakar? Maybe, but not straight away." In the meantime, the holidays are not over yet, and the next few days will give Loeb a taste of what it feels to drive on the sand, if he decides to follow the Dakar into Chile. And, who knows, perhaps the Atacaman landscapes will make him want to come back for more...