Citroen & Loeb Honoured At Annual Autosport Awards
LONDON – Dec 5, 2012: Citroen and nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb were both honoured at the annual AUTOSPORT Awards, which took place on Sunday night at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Citroën Racing collected the award for Best Rally Car with the championship-winning DS3 WRC; victory at the world’s most respected motorsport awards marked the seventh time that Citroën has won the accolade in ten years, further consolidating its position as the most successful WRC manufacturer in recent history.
Proving its might on all terrains, from the frozen lakes of Finland to the dusty mountains of Greece, the DS3 WRC’s success ensured that 2012 was another near-perfect year for the Citroën Total World Rally Team. The squad won eleven rallies with the DS3 WRC, amassing a total of 20 podium finishes in the 2012 season, which saw Sébastien Loeb clinch a record-breaking ninth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship title*.
Sébastien Loeb – who signed off from full time rallying in style, taking victory at Rally Espana in November having wrapped up his ninth WRC title at Rally de France Alsace – was recognised for his outstanding achievements in motorsport, collecting the Gregor Grant Award. The Frenchman joins an exclusive list of motor racing legends, including Sir Jackie Stewart, Damon Hill, Dario Franchitti and fellow countryman, Alain Prost. Loeb, who will contest a partial WRC season with Citroën in 2013, also picked up the award for International Rally Driver of the Year.
Yves Matton, who collected the award for Best Rally Car, declared the award a ‘fitting’ recognition for the team’s hard work, saying; “The team has worked as hard as ever to ensure that we have the best possible car to contest the championship. This is no easy task; with terrains and weather conditions varying hugely over the course of the season, our teams on-site and at our headquarters in Paris have dealt with challenging situations with the utmost professionalism. Of course our primary aim is always to win the Manufacturers’ Championship and the Drivers’ title, which we have done, but to be recognised in this way at the AUTOSPORT Awards, is a fitting reward for the entire team.”
Nine-time World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb, attended the ceremony to personally collect his award, saying: “It is a huge honour to join such an incredible list of motor racing legends. I would like to thank the organisers and to thank Citroën and all of our sponsors for providing me with such a consistently strong car over the years. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been able to do something I’m passionate about for a living and I’m certainly sad to be closing the chapter on full-time rallying with Citroën. Nevertheless, a new and very exciting chapter now awaits me and I won’t be saying goodbye to rallying altogether just yet.”