About this Famous Person
French rally driver
Source : Maurice SIMON
Loeb was born in Haguenau, Alsace, and grew up in Oberhoffen-sur-Moder. He competed as gymnast and became a four-time Alsatian champion, once champion of the French Grand East, and fifth in the French championship. He broke off school in 1992 but resumed taking classes in 1994, aiming at a professional formation in electrical engineering. On 12 September 1994, in parallel with his classes, he started working as an electrician at the Socalec company near Haguenau Airport, where he was the oldest apprentice and already noted for his daring/reckless driving style and his tendency not to be punctual. He could count, though, on the understanding of his boss, who was himself fascinated by speed and owned a Ferrari Testarossa 512 TR.
In 1995, at age 21, he quit his job and classes and definitely turned his attention to racing. In 1998, he started entering events in the French Citroën Saxo Trophy series, winning the title in 1999. Guy Fréquelin, Citroën Sport's team principal, would serve as Loeb's mentor as he entered the Junior World Rally Championship in 2001, becoming the series' first champion by winning five of the six events. During this year, he was also released for participation in the Rallye Sanremo in the Citroën Xsara WRC. In only his third world rally with a World Rally Car, he surprisingly hounded Peugeot tarmac specialist and eventual victor Gilles Panizzi to the finish.
- Category Auto racing