Sébastien Loeb’s 50th Birthday: A Celebration Of Success Within Sim Racing

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Nine consecutive WRC world championship titles, 120 podiums in 184 rallies, 80 wins and 939 stage wins. Sébastien Loeb has a rich history in some of the most competitive rally machinery. Here are three of our favourite Sébastien Loeb vehicles that you can drive in sim racing in no particular order. Happy Birthday, Sébastien!

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Sébastien Loeb – 2004 Cyprus Rally. Image Credit: Leonid Mamchenkov Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
Loeb’s WRC career started behind the wheel of a Citroën Xsara WRC alongside Philippe Bugalski and Jesús Puras. In Loeb’s third rally, Rallye Sanremo, the Frenchman was hot on the heels of renowned tarmac specialist Gilles Panizzi, eventually finishing second. As a certified tarmac specialist, Jimmy Broadbent would be proud!

The Xsara is one of the most recognisable WRC cars in the sport’s long history. Despite being based on a rather unspectacular road car, the Xsara WRC catapulted Loeb into the spotlight with consistent and dominant success throughout 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Recognisable teammates throughout this period were Carlos Sainz, the dad of Formula One Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr, and the infamous Scotsman, Colin McRae.

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EA Sports WRC Citroën Xsara WRC. Image Credit: OverTake.gg

How can you try the Citroën Xsara yourself? EA Sports WRC is the place to try first of all with a fantastic rendition of the Xsara on offer in the ‘World Rally Car 1997-2011 class. Besides the Citroën Xsara, the C4 that Loeb also had great success with in the late 2000s and early 2010s is also available.

Richard Burns Rally also offers some fantastic renditions of the Xsara WRC, with plenty of popular online championships to compete in. RBR, as true rally sim fans know, comes alive with mods. These mods are necessary to enjoy the Xsara to its full potential. Check out our Richard Burns rally guide.

If classic titles are more your speed, PS2 and PC titles Colin McRae Rally 03, 04 and 05 all include the Citroën Xsara in the top class as a playable vehicle. Colin McRae Rally 04 is especially renowned for being ahead of its time.

Citroen C4 WRC​

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Sébastien Loeb’s dominant 2009 Citroën C4. Image Credit: Bobs Bob on Flikr. Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic
Built as a successor to the Citroën Xsara WRC, the Citroën C4 WRC was revealed at the 2006 Paris Motor Show as Citroën’s new entry for the 2007 World Rally Championship season.

After the demise of the Xsara, Loeb returned to the championship as an official Citroën factory driver behind the wheel of the brand-new C4 WRC. The success came immediately with the French man winning the car’s debut rally in Mexico.

In the C4’s final season, 2010, Loeb was on the podium at every event, excluding Japan, and ended the season with a record 105 points over runner-up Jari-Matti Latvala.

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Sébastien Loeb C4 EA Sports WRC Livery Mod. Image Credit: totolab
Sim racers loved the car just as much as the rally fans did back in the late 2000s and 2010s. The car appeared in both Dirt Rally and Dirt Rally 2.0. It has also been used as legacy content in WRC Generations and most recently in EA Sports WRC as a part of the ‘World Rally Car 1997 – 2011’ car class.

Richard Burns Rally also has had multiple versions of the C4 over the years with plenty of livery options available. EA Sports WRC does not have the Red Bull liveries that Loeb used, however, the RaceDepartment modding community is seeing to these issues with incredible efficiency.

Ford Puma Rally1​

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Sébastien Loeb (FRA) and Isabelle Galmiche (FRA) Rally Portugal 2022. Image Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool
Following his co-driver Daniel Elena’s retirement, Loeb plunged headfirst into Rally1 and signed for M-Sport part-time to drive their Rally1 Puma for 2022. Success did not come as easy as it did for him in his Citroën days, but when Loeb is behind the wheel the top step of the podium is always on the cards.

Rally1 machinery is a big step up compared to the previous generations of rally cars, most notably due to the huge aero. Sadly, the entry list of manufacturers is rather small. These cars also feature the controversial hybrid energy deployment system that is becoming more and more common in motorsport.

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EA Sports WRC Livery Mod. Image Credit: totolab
All the Rally1 machinery (Ford, Hyundai and Toyota) are available in WRC Generations and EA Sports WRC. The Hybrid deployment is automatic and the regen acts as it would do in the real thing. Whether on the brakes for regenerating energy or on the throttle to expel it. The player, similar to the real-life driver, has no control over it.

Outside of official rally titles, the Rally1 cars can also be found in Assetto Corsa. Rally is slowly growing on Kunos’ original title and we’re all for it! Check out our most downloaded rally stages list on RaceDepartment.

Happy birthday to the Fiery Frenchman! We hope you all have hours of fun with some of his most famous rally machinery. Let us know your favourite Sébastien Loeb WRC car on X @OverTake_gg or down in the comments below!
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Connor Minniss
Website Content Editor & Motorsport Photographer aiming to bring you the best of the best within the world of sim racing.

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oh, yes, and I guess all his cars except for the brandnew ones are in his own game, Sebastien Loeb Rally, currently selling for 20 Euros on Steam. There is also a free Demo on Steam.
The UI coupled with some bugs is annoying but the driving and stages I thoroughly enjoyed.
If Milestone had just updated it with some polish it would have maybe got some more love from rally fans
 
oh, yes, and I guess all his cars except for the brandnew ones are in his own game, Sebastien Loeb Rally, currently selling for 20 Euros on Steam. There is also a free Demo on Steam.
So gutted that the game doesn't work with Fanatec gear. There IS a plugin, but it's a lot of hoops to jump through for sure. I really enjoyed that game while I could.
HBD to one of the greatest of all time!
 
oh, yes, and I guess all his cars except for the brandnew ones are in his own game, Sebastien Loeb Rally, currently selling for 20 Euros on Steam. There is also a free Demo on Steam.

Loved that game - had it on PS4 and it was very playable.

As others have said, the janky UI and control mapping though... on PC and with a Fanatec eco-system it's pretty much unusable - it's sat in my steam collection in the hopes that someone hacks it and makes it work for a broader set of controls.
 
I don't know if this is about Seb or a WRC23 commercial.

I bought Sebs game on Steam, but it doesn't work with two different input sources. That´s why Fanatec stuff doesn't work as far as I found out - this is so weird. You can make it work with some programms to fake a controller or sth.

Maybe they (->Milestone S.r.l.) fix it for his birthday.

Happy Birthday Seb!
 
SLRE released by Milestone in 2016 is a great rally sim with excellent physics, overshadowed by Dirt Rally releasing at the same time (out of nowhere) and its poor wheel support on PC. I have fond memory of completing the 'Loeb Experience' in it, a selection of stages of its career intertwined with interviews reflecting about these times. It is my fav rally sim, but what do I know ? SLRE has been tragically lost in time (to the point of Milestone abandoning making rally sims) and RBR will ultimately bury all rally sims, past, current and future.
 
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I hate to be RD moaning guy but at least mention the ONLY game based on Seb'. It's not as bad as some would have you believe.
Thank you for the suggestion, I decided to not mention it in my piece as I had personally never played the title. Will have to give it a go and see what it has to offer :)
 
Thank you for the suggestion, I decided to not mention it in my piece as I had personally never played the title. Will have to give it a go and see what it has to offer :)

The problem is that it might not be compatible with your wheel on PC, especially if it is recent hardware. It works fine with my antique and indestructible Logitech G27.
If you give it a go, this guide I wrote ages ago to run it best in term of frame pacing might help (it mentions 4K but also applicable to other resolutions):
 
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