Loeb and Hyundai will take part in the Rally di Alba
Sébastien Loeb, the official driver of Hyundai Motorsport in the World Rally Championship (WRC), will participate in the upcoming edition of the Rally di Alba in Italy. The test, which is part of Italy’s National Championship, will take place on the 27th and 28th of July

The Rally di Alba comprises 105,1 kilometres divided into eight specials, five of which are different. The relatively technical and undulating route runs along the roads surrounding the small town of Alba in the Piemonte region between Geneva and Turin. The Cinzano Rally Team will be in charge of providing Loeb with all the necessary technical assistance. 

“We are very grateful for the hospitality of the rally organisers and want to make the most of this opportunity for Sébastien Loeb to get more confident with our car before the upcoming asphalt races. The great roads at Rally di Alba will be a very positive experience for us” – Hyundais’ top official Andrea Adamo, told the competition organisers -. 

More asphalt before the Rally Germany

Sébastien Loeb and his team will fulfil a double objective with their participation in the Italian race. This appointment will be, together with the Rally des Vosges (14-16 June), a much needed second chance for the nine-time World Rally Champion to test his car on asphalt, the same surface as the tenth round of the WRC, the German Rally, which will take place from the 22nd to the 25th of August. 

Both sessions will mean the driver from Alsace arrives at the German test fully prepared. Accruing kilometres on board the i20 Coupe WRC is particularly important in a terrain where the oriental missile is never at its best. 

A better adaptation with the Hyundai i20

There is no denying that Sébastien Loebs’ results on the WRC so far have been disappointing. His meagre spoils consist of a single podium in Chile; the last of the four races that he has taken part in. 

The driver from Haguenau is currently sixth in the standings with 39 points, accrued thanks to a fourth position in Monte Carlo  and a seventh and eighth places in Sweden and Corsica respectively. Not much for a rally veteran of his stature. 

On top of that, Loeb’s participation on the 2019 WRC Calendar will consist of just six races and it is therefore essential for him to truly get comfortable with his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. 

As if those limitations weren’t enough, teams can only use 42 test days in which to trial their machines. Such restriction is making it very difficult for Loeb to have enough occasions to get familiar with his South Korean missile. 

At the end of the day, Sébastien Loeb, the most successful driver in history could have a lot to give to Hyundai. His feedback when it comes to the car’s development and improvement could be crucial.

The only way to make the most of his knowledge and experience, however, is by spending as much time as possible on the ground, preferably competing, on board the i20. This is why is participation in the Rally di Alba is so important. 

Because of all the reasons above, another date has been added to his intense summer schedule. In just over two months and a half Sébastien Loeb will take part in three different rallies: Rally des Vosges Grand-Este (France), Rally di Alba (Italyand Rally Germany, part of the WRC.

Aware of the need to further improve their i20, Hyundai Motorsport has also inscribed the Belgian driver Thierry Neuville in another race. The Rally Ypres which is scheduled for the 28th and 29th of June in his home country

Images: Hyundai Motorsport.

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