Former French Super1600 champion Steven Bossard will make his return to rallycross at Loheac for round seven of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, driving the Set Promotion Renault Clio used so far this season by Swedish hotshot Kevin Eriksson.
Loheac has for years been the gem in the French calendar, this year the European championship will get to experience the legendary event.
“Loheac will be great. The event is always big but with Sebastien Loeb there, there will be so many more spectators, everyone is talking about it,” says Bossard, who has had a keen eye on his home round of the championship since the calendar was first released.
“When I saw Loheac was on the European calendar I knew I had to do it. I spoke to Jussi (Pinnomaki) and we knew Kevin wouldn’t be using the Clio so it fitted perfectly. I have been waiting for this event all year.”
Bossard hasn’t competed in a rallycross car since the end of 2011, when he raced a Set Promotion Twingo in a one off outing at the final round of the European Championship in the Czech Republic, finishing third. Since then his role in the Euro paddock has been as an engineer for the Finnish outfit; working with the drivers on their driving, car set-up and video footage alongside supporting the more mechanical aspect. The opportunity came through Bossard’s family firm, BOS Engineering, who supply Set Promotion team with suspension for their Super1600 cars.
“Working with the other drivers will really help with my own driving, but I will only race in France, I’ll be back in Austria and Germany as an engineer. I’d love to race full time next year but it’s hard to find the budget.”
No stranger to success, Bossard’s story is another of one who clearly has the talent to succeed but not the budget to go with it. In his debut season in 2010 he won every event he competed in, winning eight French championship races from eight starts, including the home round of the European Championship at Kerlabo, beating Timur Timerzyanov and Ildar Rakhmatullin in the process. The following year he won six events and didn’t contest a full championship, ending up third in the standings. Again a joint round with the French championship, the youngster also won his home Euro round, beating a certain Andreas Bakkerud in a hotly contested final.
Out of a rallycross seat since 2011, Bossard has been instead concentrating on the French CrossKart championship this season “I’ve been doing some CrossKart races this year, it’s different and they have been quite tricky so far. I’m so looking forward to getting back in a rallycross car. I want to do as well as I can of course. The toughest competition will be (Reinis) Nitiss, (Ildar) Rakhmatullin and (Ulrik) Linnemann I’m sure.”
While ability isn’t for a moment in question, Loheac will be the first time that Bossard has raced with the new-for-2013 RallycrossRX format. “I’m excited to race with the new format. It’s a different way to look at the event, you have to be at 110% all the time through the whole event so it will be difficult. IMG have brought it some great drivers this year, so it will be a great event.”
Following in his father Olivier’s footsteps as an accomplished Super1600 driver, Bossard always has part of his mind focused on the family business, suspension manufacturer BOS Engineering. “We are always working hard to do the best. We are going to push hard to be more involved in rallycross. The sport’s profile is rising all the time and we have to be there.”
It’s funny how relationships develop in motorsport. Back when Olivier Bossard was racing the Citroen C2 that Steven later used, his toughest competitor was a certain Jussi Pinomaki – the same former driver, who now employs the younger Bossard on events and has given the young Frenchman the opportunity to race at his home round of the championship.
Although he hasn’t said it, Bossard must be reasonably confident for the event at Loheac, after all he will be one of the only drivers in the field that knows the circuit, which should count for a lot come the end of August.
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