DA Racing will enter the full FIA European Rallycross Championship and selected FIA World Rallycross Championship rounds in 2021 with two Peugeot 208 WRX Supercars for brothers Jean-Baptiste and Andréa Dubourg, as the team ramps up its preparations for the sport’s new electric era.
Jean-Baptiste ‘JB’ Dubourg joined Euro RX’s headlining Supercar (now RX1) category in 2015 in a Citroën C4, with a rostrum finish in the Italian season finale propelling the Frenchman to fifth in the points table at the end of his maiden campaign in the series. He dovetailed that with sporadic starts in World RX, notably taking the chequered flag third in France.
After focussing his efforts on the World Championship in 2017 – scoring points in half of the events he contested – Dubourg returned to Euro RX in 2018, piloting a G-FORS Renault Clio to the podium in Barcelona and fifth place in the championship again.
Another switch – to Peugeot machinery this time – yielded five rostrum results from six rounds in 2019, including his breakthrough victory in Latvia, as well as another podium finish in 2020 as the five-time Andros Trophy ice-racing champion scooped the runner-up spoils in the Euro RX standings in both seasons.
The 33-year-old’s younger brother, Andréa, first appeared in Euro RX in 2014, ascending the podium on his debut on home soil at Lohéac in the Super1600 (now RX3) category. A full campaign the following year yielded four further rostrum visits – amongst which was a maiden triumph in Barcelona – and fifth in the overall rankings.
In 2017, the Frenchman stepped up to Supercar level in a DA Racing Citroën DS3, scoring points in three of his five starts. Moving to his current Peugeot 208 in 2018 vaulted him from 22nd up to 12th in the Drivers’ classification, before he improved again to finish fourth in 2019, advancing to the final on four occasions and reaching the rostrum in Latvia. Another podium finish in 2020 secured 28-year-old Dubourg fifth in the championship.
This year, the two drivers – whose father is 1992 European Autocross Champion Dominique Dubourg – return with a dual focus and high expectations, targeting the Euro RX1 crown while doing their homework ahead of a planned World Championship assault in the new RX1e category in 2022.
The French outfit is one of the undisputed benchmarks in the development of electric technologies, most recently showcasing its experience and expertise in the domain en route to title glory in the Andros E-Trophy earlier this year for ‘JB’ in a Renault Zoe.
Jean-Baptiste Dubourg said:
“We are excited to be able to contest another full season in Euro RX1, as we aim to complete the job that we have begun in recent years with the clear objective of becoming European Champions. We have made good use of the long off-season caused by the global pandemic to take a big step forward with the 208 WRX, introducing a number of technical updates to ensure we are 100 per cent ready to tackle the different types of terrain we will encounter in Euro RX.
“DA Racing will also participate in the World Championship rounds at the Nürburgring. Being a new event, this will allow us to gauge the relative performance of our 208 WRX while continuing to prepare for the future as we work seriously on a World Championship entry for 2022. The team already has experience of electric technology having won the Andros E-Trophy with the support of Renault last winter, and we strongly believe this is the future for the sport.”
Andréa Dubourg said:
“I’ve always enjoyed competing in the FIA European Rallycross Championship. The circuits on the calendar and the high calibre of competition mean drivers need to be absolutely on top of their game and teams must fine-tune their cars to the nth degree. In 2020, we were able to race consistently at the sharp end, and it was great to finish on the podium at Höljes.
“We are simultaneously planning to join the grid for the World RX rounds at the Nürburgring, which will allow us to settle back into the groove before the Euro RX1 season begins and work through a range of race and start strategies. All of the drivers will be learning this track for the first time, which makes it the ideal place to try out the various evolutions we have brought to the 208 WRX over the winter. My goal is to become European Champion this year, and our appearances in World RX will enable us to prepare for that challenge in the best way possible.”
Arne Dirks, Executive Director, Rallycross Promoter GmbH, said:
“We are delighted that DA Racing has committed to the FIA European Rallycross Championship this season with two Peugeot 208 WRX Supercars, and I have no doubt that both ‘JB’ and Andréa will be leading protagonists for the Euro RX1 title.
“Even more significantly, the team’s focus on the future is a real vote of confidence and belief in World Rallycross’ new electric era, which is continuing to pick up pace. We have had a number of very positive and constructive conversations in recent weeks with manufacturers, teams and drivers all interested in coming on-board next season, and we very much hope to see DA Racing on the World Championship grid in 2022.”