Mon 01 Jul 2024

Formula 1’s Fébreau excited for Montalegre Euro RX1 debut

Julien Fébreau – a familiar face to Formula 1 fans in France – is set to make his international rallycross bow at Montalegre in Portugal later this summer in Euro RX1, and after consistently progressing in recent years, he is ‘excited’ to see how he measures up against the European scene’s crème de la crème.

Fébreau might be the lead F1 commentator for French television channel Canal+, but he also has rallycross coursing through his veins, as the son of Christian Lefeuvre, who won the French Championship’s Division 3 category in 1992.

After following his father around the racetracks of France from a young age, the Rennes native made his own debut in the demanding dual-surface discipline in 2008. He registered his breakthrough victory at Super1600 level three years later before graduating to the headlining Supercar class in 2014, becoming only the third driver ever to win first time out in the French Rallycross Championship’s top-tier by emulating the exploits of compatriots Jean-Luc Pailler and Davy Jeanney.

That same season, a one-off outing in a non-championship RX Lites event on the FIA World Rallycross Championship undercard at Trois-Rivières in Canada resulted a rostrum appearance in third place.

Since 2018, Fébreau has competed for French rallycross powerhouse DA Racing, achieving multiple podium finishes and event wins on the domestic stage while similarly shining in the ice-based Trophée Andros, in which he was crowned ‘Elite’ champion last year.

Now, he is set to tackle another new challenge – and it is one he is relishing.

“I’m very excited to discover the European Championship for the first time,” the 41-year-old enthused. “Up until now, I didn’t believe I was capable of performing at a sufficiently high level to step up to the European scene. My commitments in Formula 1 unfortunately mean I cannot race as often as I would like, but recently, I’ve made a lot of progress in my driving and now I feel ready to take this step.

“I wanted to wait for the right moment, and I think with DA Racing’s Peugeot 208 WRX, we have a competitive package. The quality of the team speaks for itself and while I’m still an amateur driver, I feel I’m now at the level I need to be to test my mettle in Euro RX and hopefully show I deserve to be there.

“It will obviously be a new challenge for me, but I’m approaching it very seriously and professionally and will give it my all. The aim is to start off from as solid a base as possible and then build upon that, but in terms of results, there will be no specific objective. The main goal will be to improve from the first lap to the last.

“With that in mind, I’ll be focussing entirely on my own performance and above all, I want to enjoy the experience while getting to know both a new track and new rivals as well as a format that is a bit different to what I’m used to in France.

“The calibre is clearly very high in Euro RX1 – it’s arguably as tough and competitive as the World Championship – but that only makes it even more appealing to me. It will be an excellent opportunity to measure myself against the top drivers in Europe, which is exactly what I want to do.”

Fébreau recently put his Peugeot through its paces during a test at Montalegre – which will host World RX of Portugal and the final round of the 2024 Euro RX campaign on 7-8 September – and he is palpably already a big fan of the popular Vila Real circuit.

“Montalegre is a fantastic track – very fast and technical, with challenging gravel sections that call for complete commitment,” he noted. “It’s undulating and really flows from one corner to the next. I had a wonderful time getting to grips with it, and I’d say it’s already right up there as one of my favourite circuits!”

Archive images from French Rallycross Championship

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM