Rallye de France to include Loeb tribute stage
"I’m very happy that the route is going through Haguenau"
World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Loeb says he is relishing tackling the 4.2-kilometre stage through the streets of his home town of Haguenau when it runs as part of Rallye de France from 30 September-3 October.
The asphalt stage - which will be built around Haguenau’s park and will incorporate numerous viewing points for spectators - has been designed as a tribute to the six-time world champion who hails from the Alsace region where the rally will be centred.
Citroen driver said: “I’m very happy that the route is going through Haguenau - that’s really nice. My memories of the stages in the area are somewhat fragmented, but I’ve got a vague idea of what to expect. I think it’s going to be a little more technical than the Rallye Deutschland, the roads in Alsace tend to be more twisty.”
Rallye de France, which forms round 11 of this year’s world championship will be based in the city of Strasbourg after being held on the island of Corsica for 35 years. The event didn’t run last year under the calendar rotation system but returns in 2010 over an all-new route.
Day one will include eight stages split into two loops of four. The main service area for the event will also be in Strasbourg. The second day will start off with some vineyard roads, taking in eight more stages split into two loops of four.
The final day includes the Haguenau stage, which is repeated, and also two runs over a 24-kilometre stage in the Camp de Bitche military range - which is renowned for several surface changes. The rally then returns to Strasbourg for the finish after 20 stages totalling 355.6 competitive kilometres.
Loeb, who now lives in Switzerland, has won France’s WRC qualifier on four previous occasions. He added: “I’m sure we’re going to see loads of people there.”
As well as being a counting round of the WRC, the event will include rounds of the S-WRC, P-WRC and J-WRC, which should guarantee a capacity entry.
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