Citroen has confirmed nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb will be returning to the series in 2018 on a part-time basis.

Loeb, who won consecutive titles with manufacturer between 2004 and 2012, tested the Citroen C3 on asphalt and gravel earlier in the year.

He will return to competition in 2018 on three rallies; Rally Mexico, Corsica and Spain.

“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 WRCs (competitively),” Loeb said.

“It’s nice to be able to do it in the team with which I’ve enjoyed so much success.

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

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Craig Breen will step aside for Loeb’s three rallies. Kris Meeke will lead the team on all events this year and will be joined by Khalid Al-Qassimi on selected rounds.

“I don’t have any expectations, I just want to enjoy myself,” Loeb added.

“I thought it made sense to take part in the French round, especially since I’ve always loved racing on asphalt, although I’m not familiar with the current route of the Tour de Corse.

“Spain seemed like a good option too. And although I’m expecting it to be pretty tough given the time that has passed since I last competed there, I also wanted to contest a gravel rally.

“We opted for Mexico, since I have good memories of racing there and the route hasn’t changed too much since I was last involved in the championship.”

2017 Citroen driver Stephane Lefebvre will step back to the WRC2 to develop its new R5 car.