Loeb and Tim Hansen will pilot the 560-horsepower Peugeot 208 WRX, while Kevinwill race an evolution of the 2017 car within the individual entry category. “Our shakedown was good, and it was useful for me to get back into the rhythm of driving a rallycross car again, even if in the end it’s quite different from a Dakar car or a World Rally Car, so I never have any big difficulty adapting from one car to another: it’s what I’ve always done. The test is also a good opportunity to try out different settings to see what works best, knowing also that we will consistently be bringing in new developments to the PEUGEOT 208 WRX throughout the year,” said Loeb after a recent shakedown in Versailles, France.
Kevin Hansen who’s piloting the updated 207 Rallycross car commented, “I feel really excited to start the season! I tried my factory car during the shakedown we and it felt good. Our recent tests are all about confirming the work that has been done over the winter and making some small adjustments so that we are completely ready for Barcelona.”
World Rx Race and Rules
Each 2-day event begins with a lottery that determines the grid for the 1st of the 4 qualifying heats. Each car takes part in 1 race (lasting 4 laps) of each heat, with 3 to 5 cars starting together in a line. Based on the results from the 4 heats (given in points), the top 12 drivers proceed to the semi-finals. These are 2 races of 6 laps, with 6 cars in each. The top 3 cars from each semi-final move go through to the final, which also takes place over 6 laps. Championship points are awarded after the heats and in both the final and semi-finals. In every race, drivers are required to take the ‘joker lap’ once: an extra section of track that usually adds around two to three seconds to a lap time.
The 1st round of the season takes place on Saturday and Sunday (14-15 April) at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, the home of the Spanish Grand Prix in Formula 1, that has also hosted a rallycross circuit since 2015. The asphalt has been resurfaced since last year, delivering higher levels of grip than before, with a brand-new start section. The lap measuresa total of 133 km, consisting of 60.4% asphalt and 39.6% gravel. It’s one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, with the RX lap record currently standing at 42.971s from last year.