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Thursday, December 31, 2009
Updated: January 1, 12:56 PM ET
Loeb targets seventh straight Rally title

By Tom McKean

Sebastien Loeb
Sebastien Loeb celebrates with fans after winning the WRC Argentina Rally on April 26, 2009.

We have introduced you to Sebastien Bourdais, Sam Hornish Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Tom Kristensen as we roll out the nine candidates for's Driver of the Decade -- in alphabetical order -- over the next two weeks. Our panel of experts has voted for its top drivers. You will get your turn when we stage a SportsNation fan vote Jan. 8.

The Driver of the Decade will be revealed Jan. 11.

Meet candidate No. 5 …

Sebastien Loeb
Series: World Rally Championship

Not only has Loeb been the most dominant rally racer of the decade but he's arguably the greatest rally driver of all time.

Loeb has six straight World Rally titles to his name, including this year's crown. He does not rank among the top 10 in career starts, yet holds the World Rally Championship record for most titles, most consecutive titles, most wins, longest win streak and wins in a single season.

Just last year, Loeb broke his own record for wins in a season when he won 11 of the 15 events. If that doesn't sum up his dominance, this should: In 2006, Loeb won the championship despite not competing in the last four events of the season because of a shoulder injury. Before his injury that year, he had eight wins and four runner-up finishes in 12 events.

Loeb's versatility also shone through when he finished second overall at the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans driving for the great Henri Pescarolo.

Did we mention that Loeb's first full year in the World Rally Championship wasn't until 2003, when he finished second in the standings?

Meet the nine Driver of the Decade contenders, who are being revealed one at a time …
• Monday: Sebastien Bourdais
• Tuesday: Sam Hornish Jr.
• Wednesday: Jimmie Johnson
• Thursday: Tom Kristensen
• Friday: Sebastien Loeb
• Coming Monday: Valentino Rossi

Tom McKean is a studio researcher at ESPN.