The M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 hybrid racer has gotten off to a start full of ups and downs on the FIA World Rally Championship circuit since its introduction last year. Accomplished rally racer Sebastien Loeb was tapped to drive the sporty hatch at Rally Portugal this season, and he has been added to the roster once again for the forthcoming 2022 Acropolis Rally.
Loeb will assume his post behind the wheel of the Puma Rally1 car for the racing event in Greece, scheduled to take place from September 8th through September 11th. The 2022 Acropolis Rally marks Loeb’s fourth stint behind the wheel of the M-Sport Ford race car, having also raced at Monte Carlo, Portugal and Safari Rally. It’s also the first time in over a decade that the Frenchman will race on the gravel in Greece.
So far, Loeb has posted mixed results since his return to the WRC this year. Right out of the gates, he won at Monte Carlo, setting the stage for a successful breakout with the new Puma Rally1 racer and a star-studded return to the rally scene. However, at Rally de Portugal, Loeb made a mistake that forced him to wreck out of first place, while mortally wounding his Puma racer. At the Safari Rally in Kenya, Loeb was once again pacing with the leaders when his Puma Rally1 suffered a small engine fire, forcing his retirement from the event.
“I chose to enter Greece as it’s a nice gravel rally which I always enjoyed, it looks better now and not as rough as the last time I did it,” said Loeb. “I think there are only two stages on this year’s itinerary that I have experienced, but it was 10 years ago so my memory of them isn’t great. I won the rally three times and have some good memories, I think the stages are mostly interesting.”