Just hours before the start of the first round of the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship, the newly formed LD Motorsports team was frantically putting the finishing touches to Liam Doran’s new Citroen DS3.
Now, in the early stages of 2014, and with the new FIA World Rallycross Championship looming, LD Motorsports has already begun testing for the season ahead – with two days at Loheac in France in December, over four months before the opening round of the RallycrossRX series in Portugal. “Testing went very well,” says Doran. “We did a day of suspension and a day of engine work and found improvements with both, so that’s good. Looking at our pace last season, we don’t need to find speed, we just need to work on reliability and consistency. We are working so hard, we have loads of testing planned.”
Doran is aware of how late he was at the start of 2013, and is keen to build on that experience to be better prepared for his second year as a team owner; “We were so short on time last year, and this time around we have started testing five months before the season, so if we can maintain our pace with more time to prepare it should be good. I just can’t wait to see what we can achieve with this much preparation time.”
Not only pleased with how preparation is going ahead of the new season for his own team, Doran is excited about the new World Championship, and looking forward to new and existing events; “IMG has done a great job putting the World championship together. I’m impressed with the locations of the World events. It’s important for IMG to stamp its authority as a World championship by going to three different countries outside Europe at this early stage, it shows how serious it is about making a success. Obviously France is a landmark event on the calendar, it’s a proper, proper event. Fans from any motorsport would be blown away by everything there. Argentina will be pretty crazy, the fans are mad for motorsport there. That’s the World event I’m probably looking forward to the most, the atmosphere will be amazing.”
Being one of the first European Rallycross drivers to head to America to compete in X-Games events back in 2011, Doran has more experience than many about how teams will be required to prepare differently for World championship events; “LDMS is one of the better off teams now, we shipped stuff around in 2011 and we’ve done it ever since. It’s not as easy as it seems. There is other stuff that will help us too, the new engine rule is much better, it will allow you to push a lot harder and risk a blow up and still finish an event. The points change will suit us, as a team we haven’t been great qualifiers but have been very strong in the final stages of events.”
Doran’s Citroen DS3 will be on display at the Autosport International show this weekend, held at the NEC, Birmingham (9-12 Jan), where it will be displayed on the Lydden Hill Race Circuit stand. New PSRX team-mates Petter Solberg and Alexander Hvaal will also be attending the show to launch their FIA World Rallycross Championship plans.
Over the Saturday and Sunday of the show, the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship will be promoting its 2014 series with a Junior category Ford KA and the new Subaru Impreza of Gary Pusey which will run in the clubman Supercar class this year.
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