Wed 24 Apr 2024

Former championship runner-up returns to Euro RX1

Two-time French Rallycross Champion Fabien Pailler – who came within a whisker of adding the FIA European Rallycross Championship title to his impressive résumé three years ago – will return to Euro RX1 in 2024 for at least two of the five rounds.

The Pailler name resonates richly with the sport. Jean-Luc Pailler sped to glory in Euro RX in 1993, with son Fabien very nearly replicating that feat just under three decades later in his first full season in the series. The rapid Frenchman has not appeared in the championship since – but now, he is back.

After fighting Andreas Bakkerud tooth-and-nail for honours in 2021 – ending the campaign with consecutive podium finishes and ultimately missing out on the coveted crown by only four points – Pailler is preparing to rejoin the fray on home soil in the forthcoming Essay curtain-raiser on 8-9 June. He plans to similarly contest the season finale at Montalegre on 7-8 September, with hopes of perhaps adding further events to his programme should finances allow.

The 38-year-old Saint-Renan native will take to the track behind the wheel of his trusted Pailler Compétition-run Peugeot 208, which has benefitted from a number of upgrades and refinements over the winter months. The team enjoyed a positive and productive test at the Circuit des Ducs earlier this week, and he is eager to see how he stacks up in the cut-and-thrust of competition.

“We opted for a new electronic management system during the off-season,” Pailler explained, “so we made sure that we fine-tuned our technical approach, but our first laps went quite well.

“For now, we’re concentrating on Essay and Montalegre. The rest will depend on our ability to bring together new initiatives and partnerships during the season. We have a partner whose base is very close to Montalegre, so that will be an opportunity to invite all the local employees and offer them a weekend immersed in the team.

“Ultimately, I think Essay will give us a clearer picture. It will all depend on how competitive we are against the best in Europe, but if things go well, why not imagine a more substantial European Championship schedule? Nothing is out of the question...”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM