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01 Aug 2013

RX: Loeb at Lohéac

Category: ERC, News Posted 01.08.13 14:58 by

Rally World Champion Sébastien Loeb was at the Circuit de Lohéac in Brittany for his first test drives prior to Round 7 of the FIA European Rallycross Championship. 

 

As officially announced in May nine-times in a row World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb has agreed to participate in Round 7 of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, to be held on August 31 and September 1 at the French Circuit de Lohéac. The venue near the town of Rennes in Brittany is widely accepted to be the Mecca of Rallycross, attracting for many a year over 30,000 spectators to its races. It does not even matter if the events count towards the ERC, or just the French Rallycross Championship, for the crowds the Lohéac racing weekend is year after year ‘a must do’.

Yesterday morning the tiny Lohéac village, with its less than 700 inhabitants, underwent the first Loeb fever when more than 500 people [according to the daily newspaper Ouest-France] showed up to watch the first test drives of the World Rally Championship legend from Alsace. “I was surprised to see so many people this morning,” said Loeb to the press. “I have heard a lot of good things about this higher place of the Rallycross sport, and I was lucky having a free day available for this test.”

The machinery “Super Séb” has been offered to use for the upcoming RallycrossRX spectacle is the 550+bhp strong Citroën DS3 SuperCar of French Rallycross veteran Hervé “Knapick” [aka Hervé Lemonnier]. “Knapick” is a long time competitor in French Rallycross, in the second ever French ERC round in 1979 at Essay he already drove an Alpine A110 to sixth place overall in the GT Division.

The conditions at the circuit were perfect and Loeb was keen to refresh his experiences he has already collected with a Rallycross SuperCar. One year and one month ago the Citroën factory driver made good use of the Hansen Motorsport Citroën DS3, currently driven by Timmy Hansen in the RallycrossRX series, to win the Los Angeles X Games RallyCross event outright from the two Americans Ken Block and Brian Deegan. ERC24’s French photo contributors Adecom were at the Brittany venue to take the shown fine pictures for our readers. Enjoy!

 

About Lohéac: France should have run already a round of the inaugural ERC series (the so-called ‘Embassy European Rallycross Championship’) in August 1973 at Le Touquet near Boulogne-sur-Mer. However, after this race was cancelled it took the French another three years to organise their first ever Rallycross event. It was on September 5 1976 at a temporary track in Lohéac and the race was won by Briton Mick Bird and his Mini Cooper S 1.4 (in the -1600cc class) as well as Belgian Guy Deladrière and his Porsche Carrera RSR (in the +1600cc class). Two years later it was also that tiny Brittany village to host the premier French ERC round, on September 3 1978 at the Circuit de Lohéac. After eight more years at the first permanent venue during the weekend of September 6 and 7 1986 the new and current Circuit de Lohéac was opened at the other side of the commune.

  • THE WINNERS OF ALL LOHÉAC ERC ROUNDS
  • 1978 TCs: Martin Schanche (N) Ford Escort RS1800
  • 1978 GTs: Andy Bentza (A) Lancia Stratos HF 3.0
  • 1983 D2: Walter Mayer (A) Audi quattro
  • 1983 D1: Pierre Brunetti (F) Talbot Rallye 3
  • 1988 D2: Matti Alamäki (FIN) Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 E2
  • 1988 D1: Bjørn Skogstad (N) Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth
  • 1993 D2: Jean-Luc Pailler (F) Citroën BX GTI T16 4×4
  • 1993 D1: Richard Hutton (GB) Ford Escort RS Cosworth
  • 2001 D1: Kenneth Hansen (S) Citroën Xsara WRC
  • 2001 D2: Marc-Jan Vlassak (NL) Opel Astra OPC