Sébastien Loeb is returning to the rally scene next season, only he won't be driving. This time it'll be as a team owner, as Sébastien Loeb Racing has announced its entry in the Junior World Rally Championship next season.

As a nine-time world champion, Sébastien Loeb should require no introduction. After dominating the WRC for years, he's been trying his hand at a variety of other disciplines, including the World Touring Car Championship, Pikes Peak, and now the Dakar Rally. His team fields entries both for himself and for other drivers in an array of circuit-based racing series. But given his background, it was almost inevitable that his race team would eventually find its way to the rally stage.

The Junior category is the point of entry into the World Rally Championship, slotting in below the top-level WRC and the WRC 2 and WRC 3 rungs on the rally ladder. The entire field competes in identical machinery, which just so happens to be based on the Citroën DS3 like the one Loeb drove to his last two championships. Loeb is also a veteran of the series, having won the JWRC title in 2001 under its previous auspices as the FIA Cup for Drivers of Super 1600 Cars.

Loeb's longtime business partner and team manager Dominique Heintz will run most of the day-to-day for the team as Loeb focuses his attention elsewhere. But the effort will also bring Daniel Elena, the co-driver with which he rose up the ranks and scored all those victories, into the fold as well. For nostalgic rally fans and newcomers alike, we've included below a video tribute to Loeb and Elena, compiled a couple of years ago by Citroën upon the driver's departure from driving full-time in the WRC.

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