World Rally legend gets Hansen Citroën DS3 for X Games
Sebastien Loeb will race a Rallycross car for the first time when he takes part in the ‘rally’ section of X Games at the end of the month. The eight-times World Rally Champion will drive a Citroën DS3 built and run in the event by Hansen Motorsport which won at X Games last year with Liam Doran at the wheel of one of its Citroën C4s. Loeb will drive the DS3 used so far this year by European Rallycross Championship points leader Timur Timerzyanov and tested the car at Dreux in France on Wednesday.
Loeb will swap his DS3 WRC for a Rallycross car. © Citroën/RallycrossWorld.com
“This is a wonderful thing for us to be doing,” said team boss Kenneth Hansen. “Citroën Racing asked us to do the car and run it for Sebastien at the X Games. I had thought that there was nothing for us in America this year but this chance is fantastic. It’s been a lot of work because the time schedule for getting a car their meant that we had to send the car that Timur has raced and at the same time start to build up a new car so that Timur can continue to race and do the events in Norway and Sweden, we are nearly finished that now so everything looks good.
“We tested with Sebastien at Dreux and it went very well, it’s amazing to work with drivers of that level and with so much talent. I know that he has been quite interested in Rallycross for some time but this was his first chance to drive a Rallycross car on a Rallycross track. We had a great event at X Games last year and of course I hope that we can be successful there again, but it’s a real one-off and anything can happen,” said Hansen.
“I love racing and I’m always interested in trying out new categories. A week after the New Zealand Rally has finished, I’ll be in Los Angeles to take up the challenge set for me by Travis Pastrana [his fellow Red Bull-backed athlete]. Rallycross here in Europe provides some very spectacular racing, but the American version seems to be even more extreme. So, I didn’t need to be asked twice when the opportunity arose to race against drivers like Marcus Grönholm in a 545bhp Citroën DS3!” said Loeb.
Undertaking the event together with sponsor Red Bull, Citroën Racing is pushing for a top result in the ‘one-off’ appearance. “We were fully aware of the importance that Red Bull attaches to the X Games Los Angeles when we agreed to take part. Once we had actually committed to the project, we prepared for the event with the utmost seriousness,” said Citroën Racing Director Yves Matton. “As it’s a one-off event for us, we don’t have to worry about managing our position in the championship. There’s only one race and we are really determined to try and win it. It won’t be easy because it will all be new to us, compared with our rivals who are used to this type of racing, but we’ll be fighting every inch of the way!”
Hansen himself will oversee the X Games assault with Loeb, leaving the rest of the his team to tackle the Swedish round of the European Rallycross Championship at Höljes under the management of his wife, Susann. “I will go to America but I have a very competent wife and she will be in charge at Höljes, I am quite sure that she can look after the boys at least as well as I can do it,” said Hansen.