French race car driver Sébastien Loeb just won his eighth consecutive World Rally Championship, setting a new record for consecutive top finishes. The 37 year-old native of Hagenau, Alsace, started off as a competitive gymnast, ranked fifth in France, before he changed lanes to racing. The 2011 season included races in Sweden, Mexico (1st), Portugal (2nd), Jordan (3rd), Italy (1st), Agentina (1st), Greece (2nd), Finland (1st), Germany (2nd), Australia, France, Spain (1st), and finally Wales. Loeb didn’t win every stage in his Citroën; he accumulated the most points. The Wales race concludes on November 13, but Loeb already has cinched the points needed for the overall win for 2011. He’s also done some LeMans and Formula One racing, but with less speactacular results.
President Sarkozy made him a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in 2008. He’s a Champion for Peace, a group of 54 elite athletes in L’Organisation pour la paix par le sport (Peace and Sport) who are committed to working for world harmony. To achieve this, the Organization sponsored by Monaco’s Prince Albert “promotes the practice of structured sport and sporting values to educate young generations and help foster social stability, reconciliation and dialogue between communities.” When he’s not burning up the track, Loeb lives in Lausanne, Switzerland with his wife and daughter.
Today’s expression, rouler à vitesse grand V (rewlay ah veetess grahn vee) literally means “to drive at speed with a capital V” or “S” since that what the word starts with in English. It simply means to derive at top speed, it can also been used with the verbs aller (to go) or venir (to come). I think that whether Loeb is coming or going, he’s driving at top speed.
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