France’s Sebastien Loeb won the first ever rallycross event to be held at Silverstone in the UK, as the British circuit prepared for the fourth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in May (25 – 27). 

Hosting the first round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship in cold and wintery conditions, Silverstone Circuit used the event as a precursor to its first World RX weekend, which will form part of the Speedmachine Festival. 

EKS Audi Sport’s Andreas Bakkerud was fastest in Q1, Q2 and Q3, but it was Team Peugeot Total team-mates Timmy Hansen and Sebastien Loeb that won the two semi-finals. After a tight first corner battle in the final, Loeb took command and won Silverstone’s first rallycross race. Behind, Hansen passed Bakkerud using the joker lap to finish second, just ahead of Norwegian. 

“For me it was the first time in the rallycross car this season. It was a first test and finally a first victory, so it was a great start. I had a successful day, it’s never easy to win even if it’s a national championship,” said Loeb. 

“We didn’t really have big ambitions, it was more to get used to the car, to get used to the track and for the team to learn rallycross. The conditions were really tricky in the morning but better in the afternoon so we had the chance to try different setups, it was a good weekend.”

With the top three Supercar positions claimed by World RX drivers, GCK’s Guerlain Chicherit - who will race this year in the all-new Prodrive-developed Renault Megane R.S. - was unable to complete the event in a G-Fors Renault Clio RS RX due to a broken intercooler. Olsbergs MSE’s Kevin Eriksson used the race to get experience of the Silverstone circuit and finished on the podium in the RX150 buggy class. 2017 RX2 International Series runner-up, Dan Rooke, also competed in the class and was sixth.

FIA World Rallycross Championship teams and drivers will return to Silverstone next Monday (March 26) and Tuesday (March 27) for the second official pre-season test, and the official season launch (on Monday).

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