Loheac home to biggest RX entry of the year

by Hal Ridge |

The seventh round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship takes place in Loheac, France this weekend, in the heart of French motorsport country in the small French village south of Rennes.

The entry in both Supercar and Super1600 is both plentiful and packed full of quality. The national French championship runs its two headline categories to European regulations, meaning that when the European championship comes to town, or lovely French village in this case, the locals are out in force.

French drivers generally drive French cars and both categories are full of Citroens, Peugeots and Renaults. Sebastien Loeb’s arrival to RX has been well documented, is obviously the headline act in his Knapick Competition Citroen DS3. Sharing the awning with Loeb is Herve “Knapick” himself driving one of his teams older Peugeot 207’s, alongside motorsport legend Jean Philippe Dayraut, who last competed in the European Rallycross Championship in 2011 when he drove in the Belgian and German events. More recently, Dayraut drove at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in a BMW Mini and if he keeps in on the road in Loheac has a genuine chance of doing well. 2012 French rallycross champion Geatan Serazin makes a one off appearance in the European series at his local circuit, in his first outing this year. His Peugeot 207 was last used by Andy Scott in Portugal back in May. Jermone Grosset-Janin currently leads the French championship in his Renault Clio MkIII and poses a real threat to the regulars at the front of RallycrossRX. Grosset-Janin has however been beaten at the last two rounds of the French series by the Peugeot 208 of Fabien Pallier, who has struck form of late and could also be well into the final stages of the event. Pallier Snr, Jean Luc drove in Portugal to debut the 208 that Fabien drives at Loheac. Jean Luc, one of, if not the most experienced driver in the field will take the wheel of one of the teams older 207’s here, alongside Lebanese driver Nabil Karam who is no stranger to rallycross and also competes in the Trophy Andros ice-racing series. Alexander Theuil debuts a new car this weekend, his Citroen DS3 finally finished after a long build, and will line up next to cousin Robert, who drives Alexander’s old VW Golf in the French championship. Cyril Calmon has an eclectic experience of motorsport having competed in rally and circuit racing alongside his appearances in rallycross. He has recently finished the build of a Renault Megane MkIII which still needs work, if the team have found the necessary improvements then he certainly has the driving ability to shine.

Tanner Foust returns to RallycrossRX in his OMSE Fiesta having won in his two other wildcard outings this season at Lydden Hill (Round One) and Kouvola (Round Four). Kevin Procter makes his first RallycrossRX start of the season having won the French round of the championship last season.

Super1600 features by far its largest entry of the season; national drivers join the usual RallycrossRX regulars to make up a 37-car strong field in the front-wheel drive category. Current French championship leader Jean-Baptiste Dubourg heads the field in his Renault Clio MkII, having won the sixth round of the series just last weekend. Reining French champion Laurent Chartrain claimed the title last year in a Citroen Saxo, and has since moved up to a newer C2. He currently lies fourth overall this season, but is one of the drivers more than capable of causing an upset to the regular order this weekend in Loheac. Steven Bossard needs very little introduction here, the suspension engineer dominated the French championship at his first and only full assault in 2010, and won his home round of the European championship in both ’10 and ’11. In Loheac he will drive the Renault Clio used this year by Kevin Eriksson in the Set Promotion team, and although he won’t admit it must have his eyes on a pretty good result. David Oliver is one of the quickest drivers in the division, he and his Renault Twingo won the French title in 2011 and is equally likely to reach the final stages of the event in Loheac. Jimmy Terpereau currently leads the French Division Four category at the wheel of an Audi A3 but exchanges that for a Peugeot 206 this weekend to try his hand at European championship competition. The previous owner of Terpereau’s A3 was Yvonnick Jagu who now competes in Super1600 at the wheel of a new Audi A1, currently the only one if its kind the sport. Jagu was a champion in Div3 in the A3, and once his A1 is up to speed can be just as fast in Super1600. Julien Febreau races this weekend in a Citroen Saxo. The local man is most famous for his commentator role on the Canel Plus television coverage of Formula One, where he works with Jacques Villeneuve behind the mic.

Also worthy are the two Czech newcomers. Zdenek Kucera makes his RallycrossRX debut in a Skoda Fabia while Jan Skala drives the first Peugeot 208 seen outside the Supercar category.

TouringCar has the eight cars required for semi-final to run by the regulations, as long as none of them retire from the event.





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