The newly-minted WRC 2 champion* Pierre-Louis Loubet has a number of great achievements under his belt, but it was only with the ŠKODA FABIA R5 that he was able to claim the title in the World Rally Championship. With the season finished, we asked him about his rally beginnings, his still-fresh feelings about this year’s WRC and his plans for the future.
Let’s start at the beginning – how did your rally career start?
It all started when I was 16 in Nicolas Bernardi’s flying school. I was always passionate about driving and as soon as I tried it, I wanted to continue.
How old were you when you first drove a car?
I was 7 years old. It was a small yellow car in my garden.
Is rallying your main job?
Rally has become my main activity, but I continue my studies in Paris.
Is there any rally driver who was your role model when you were a kid?
It was not a rally driver. It was Fernando Alonso. To me, he is just an incredible driver.
You have achieved a great success this season. What were the main challenges?
Obviously it was very difficult because the level in R5 is very high. The biggest challenge in world championship is to be successful on every surface.
What role did the FABIA R5 play in it, in your opinion?
A big role, because I’ve really progressed in this car. It’s brought me a lot of confidence.
How do you evaluate the support from ŠKODA Motorsport?
ŠKODA have really helped me on the technical level, and they allowed us to make progress on the set-up of the car.
What were the toughest and brightest moments of the season 2019 for you?
The Tour de Corse was the most difficult moment for me. It was a bad start to the season. But from Portugal onwards everything came together for victory – it was fantastic.
How do you celebrate victories with your co-driver Vincent Landais and your team?
All together with a good meal!
What does rallying mean to you?
Rally is my life passion. I hope it will be my job.
What are your plans and goals for the next season?
To be able to continue racing, hopefully with a nice program.
Do you have any Christmas message for rally fans?
I wish them all happy holidays and I’ll see them soon on the tracks!
* Subject to official publication of results by FIA.