Peter Anderson | Oct 9, 2012

Sebastien Loeb took victory in the Rally of France and with it an unprecedented ninth - and probably last - WRC title.

The Citroen driver beat out Jari-Matti Latvala's Ford by 15.5s, with Mikko Hirvonen third in another Citroen.

Thirty-eight year old Loeb's ninth championship win came a few days after the former gymnast announced that his 2013 WRC season will be heavily truncated, with the Frenchman saying he will run in "four or five" rallies, starting with the Monte Carlo rally.

It is expected that Loeb will switch to the World Touring Car Championship in 2014.

“If you want to have a new challenge, you have to stop some day. It's something that I've been considering for a while. I have to stop rallying if I want to do something else in the future, I cannot wait until I am 50,” Loeb said.

What's more impressive about the tally of nine championships is that he still won in 2006 after missing the final four rallies with a broken shoulder.

The rallies next year are his favourites and his way of filling time and staying sharp before his WTCC debut the following year.

“I always said that I would continue as long as the motivation was there, and already last year I had some doubts if I wanted to do this season.“

Loeb leaves behind statistics even more formidable than Michael Schumacher's record in Formula 1.