Saturday | 23 Jul 2022

WRC star Loubet excited for rallycross try-out with DA Racing

Rising FIA World Rally Championship star Pierre-Louis Loubet will get his first experience of rallycross next week, after being offered a test outing with DA Racing in the car that Jean Baptiste ‘JB’ Dubourg piloted to the runner-up spoils in the European Championship three years ago.

Rising FIA World Rally Championship star Pierre-Louis Loubet will get his first experience of rallycross next week, after being offered a test outing with DA Racing in the car that Jean Baptiste ‘JB’ Dubourg piloted to the runner-up spoils in the European Championship three years ago.

The 2019 WRC2 Champion, Loubet is currently contesting international rallying’s top flight in an M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 machine, finishing a career-high fourth on Rally Italia-Sardegna last month, just over half-a-minute shy of the podium.

Showcasing his versatility, the 25-year-old Frenchman joined Team DA Racing-GDM in the Andros e-Trophy earlier this year, proving to be a quick learner behind the wheel of the fully electric AS01-GDM as he played a part in countryman Dubourg’s successful acquisition of a sixth career title in the popular ice racing series. Now, Loubet is aiming to put those same skills to use in the team’s Peugeot 208 RX1 at Lohéac on Thursday (28 July).

“I’m not hugely familiar with the world of rallycross, but it’s an amazing spectacle with ultra-sophisticated cars and the creation of the World Championship in 2014 gave it a real boost,” he acknowledged. “It’s a very intense discipline with close and tightly-fought races. The on-track battles are always exciting to watch, with drivers taking different lines and leaving their braking as late as they dare. Honestly, it’s a discipline that increasingly appeals to me.

“I’m sure there will be commonalities between the Peugeot and my Rally1 car due to their similar dimensions, but while rallycross cars are built in the same spirit as those we use in the WRC, they are bulked up with aerodynamics and two-litre turbocharged engines pushing out almost 600bhp.

“I can’t wait to try the 208 out at Lohéac. I’m a bit nervous of tasting a forbidden fruit, but I want to sincerely thank Dominique Dubourg and the whole DA Racing team for giving me this opportunity.”

“I first met Pierre-Louis at the presentation of Team DA Racing-GDM in November last year, and we immediately hit it off,” added DA Racing Team Principal and 1992 European Autocross Champion, Dominique Dubourg. “I then saw him take to the wheel of the AS01-GDM in the Andros e-Trophy and like all drivers of his calibre, he very quickly adjusted to the unique demands of competing on ice and the electric powertrain.

“It was not long at all before he was taking the fight to the fastest guys. Pierre-Louis is one of those drivers capable of adapting to any kind of competitive situation, so it made perfect sense to give him a go in our 208 RX1.”