Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb has scored a thrilling triumph in his FIA GT debut, driving a McLaren MP4-12C GT3 racecar.
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Loeb, and driving partner Alvaro Parente, took top honours in the qualifying race of the opening round of the FIA GT Series in Nogaro, France in a hard fought, but decisive win.

The victory was not only Loeb’s first in sports cars, but also the first for his Sebastien Loeb racing team, making its debut in the new GT series.

Loeb in his McLaren MP4-12C GT3 fought tooth-and-nail with the Belgian Audi Club team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra of Niki Mayr-Melnhof and Rena Rast that started on pole and led from early on in the race.

After countless attempts to pass the Audi, Loeb made his move with just eight minutes remaining in the race and snatched the lead to a standing ovation from the French crowd.

With a qualifying win under his belt, Loeb and Parente were well placed to grab another win in the main race, but were unfortunately handed a 30-second penalty after Loeb apparently unbuckled his harness early before a driver change.

More bad luck followed when Parente collected another penalty after a collision during his final stint in the car, putting them down to 13th position.

After the first round, Sebastien Loeb Racing is ranked number three, while Parente and Loeb sit in 9th and 10th respectively, in the driver standings.

Not content with staying out of the motorsport limelight, Loeb will also be teaming up with Peugeot to tackle this year's Pikes Peak Race To The Clouds.