SeBESTien – The World’s Greatest

July 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm

The best in the world?

Sebastien Loeb is the best driver in the world today, there I said it. There is no one driving a car in the world today (and yes I’m including Lewis, Fernando and that other Sebastian) that has the overall ability to do what the man from Alsace can; to be so successful in various disciplines in a wide range of cars.

Look at the facts, Loeb holds all the important records in world rallying (championships, wins, points and podium finishes). I know critics will say maybe the competition in world rallying was somewhat weak during the Loeb era but he was so dominant that in 2006 Loeb missed rounds due to a mountain biking accident and he still on won the title on his dominance when he was on the road.

In addition to rallying, Loeb has finished second at LeMans, has tested F3000 and Formula 1 cars (almost competing for the Toro Rosso team), has won X-Games rallycross, and ┬áhas been victorious in sportscar racing. In 2014, Loeb will be leading Citroen’s attack on the World Touring Car Championship.

Recently, Loeb took part in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Loeb didn’t just win, he dominated; breaking the course record by a minute and a half and 49 seconds faster than his closest competitor.

Loeb, didn’t retire from rallying because of a lack of form, old age or a Citroen pull out; it was due to accomplishing all that could be accomplished. Loeb has been making cameo appearances in the WRC this year and out of his three starts his results have been two wins and a second.

So what makes this tick and allows him to be able to to be successful in multiple disciplines? First start by looking at his background. Growing up Loeb was a gymnast at a high level finishing fifth in the French championship. After his gymnastics career, Loeb trained as an electrical engineer in his late teens and early twenties. Both disciplines require focus, large amounts of concentration and the ability to adapt. The gymnast must be skilled in various things such as the floor exercise, the parallel bars and rings. The electrician works with live wires and various codes knowing a false move could injure himself and others.

When Loeb appeared on the world stage he was viewed as a tarmac specialist, someone who could challenge for wins on sealed surfaces but an also ran on rallies that were featured on gravel and snow. Loeb developed into in all rounder, he was dominate on tarmac but won rallies such as Cyprus and Australia and became the first non scandinavian driver to win Rally Sweden.

Is there anyone out there as talented as Loeb? Sure there are others who are/would be faster in a Sportscar or an Open Wheel race car, but is there anyone out there could be as competitive as Loeb has been jumping from discipline to discipline? Loeb is a throw back to an earlier day when the racing world consisted of men like Elford, Gurney, Jones, and Hill. Perhaps it’s because of contract restrictive specialist era we live in, we truly don’t appreciate Loeb’s talent.