What a way to start a new era. As the new hybrid Rally1 cars took their bow, a blast from the past blew through the Monte Carlo Rally to show the younger drivers how it’s done. Sébastien Loeb, in his first WRC start since 2020, became the oldest driver ever to win a round of the WRC to score what will surely be the most memorable of his record-equalling eight victories on the most famous rally of them all.
Sure, he needed a dose of bad luck for his old rival Sébastien Ogier to do it – but no one was about to begrudge the nine-time world champion his record-extending 80th WRC victory, as M-Sport returned to the top of the sport with its sensational new Ford Puma. Just to add to the headlines, he was co-driven by a 50-year-old female school teacher, Isabelle Galmiche, on her first start in the top tier. Talk about feel-good motorsport at its best.