Nine-time champion Loeb set for 2018 cameo

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Paris (AFP)

Record nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb will return for three races with former team Citroen next year, the French constructor confirmed on Wednesday.

Loeb, who walked away from the sport after his last title in 2012, will take part in rallies in Mexico (March 8-11), Corsica (April 5-8) and Catalonia (October 25-28).

It is the third time the 43-year-old has come back for a brief WRC stint, after competing in four events in the 2013 campaign as well as in the 2015 season opener in Monte Carlo.

"The feeling you get in rally is one of the most thrilling feelings I've ever experienced, and I was excited about driving one of these new (cars) in a race," Loeb said in a statement.

"It's nice to be able to do it in the team with which I?ve enjoyed so much success. I don?t have any expectations, I just want to enjoy myself."

The Frenchman, who holds the record with 78 rally wins, was invited to test Citroen's C3 car in August and September with a view to an eventual return.

"Everyone was pleased after the test sessions done this year, myself first and foremost, and these three appearances were the logical next step," Loeb added.

Loeb will also take part in January's Dakar Rally with Peugeot -- he finished second in the 2017 edition -- as well as the World Rallycross Championship.

Citroen announced that Britain's Kris Meeke, seventh in last year's championship, will be a full-time driver in 2018, while Craig Breen will start all but the three rallies featuring Loeb.