Loeb and Ogier to reunite?
Loeb returned for a three-rally programme this year
Reuniting nine-time champion Sébastien Loeb with Sebastien Ogier at Citroën next year would be the ‘cherry on the cake’ according to team principal Pierre Budar.
Last week Citroën announced that five-time champ Ogier would return to the squad in 2019, eight years after he left. It’s a move that raised the possibility of a reunion with his former team-mate Loeb, who made his own comeback to the team for three guest appearances this year.
The pair famously endured a strained relationship at Citroën before, ultimately leading to Ogier’s departure, but Budar acknowledged the opportunity to reunite the line-up would be something special.
“For us, it could be the cherry on the cake if we can do something with him [Loeb],” he said. “We are taking it step-by-step, we will first finalise our line-up and our programme for the team and then we will see if we can do something [with Loeb] later on.”
If Loeb is to feature in the 2019 Citroën line-up it would be as an occasional entry and Budar emphasised that his immediate priority was to find a second driver to compete as team-mate to Ogier. Esapekka Lappi is hotly tipped to make the switch from Toyota.
“Our line-up is not finalised yet. We have to confirm the second car already to be at the best level and then we will see. If we have the opportunity to have a third car we will push for it, but the priority is to make sure we have two very good cars able to fight” he added.
The Frenchman also revealed that Ogier had tested the C3 before signing with the team.
“We had some tests on gravel. It was part of the way to answer a few questions from Sébastien and to have a test was better than any discussion,” Budar said.
“He had some small requests, we had quick answers, and everything was settled quite fast. We had a feeling he will be very demanding to us and I hope we gave him the feeling also we are able to answer quite efficiently his requests.”
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