You’d be forgiven for thinking that a man with such a collection of silverware might be a little bit nervous about protecting his fearsome reputation against the X Games’ biggest star. But Loeb possesses a Frenchman’s typical nonchalance.
“I am not nervous as I know it’s for fun with no serious outcome other than trying to do a good race and enjoy it,” Loeb said last week. “WRC is my day-to-day job, even if I enjoy it very much, and I live for my passion. Here all I have to do is my best and have fun. It’s a one-shot event for us with no real target in any championship, so it’s cool.”
Of course, you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that he and his Citroen rally team haven’t been knee-deep in preparation. Other than building an ultra-competitive car – the DS3 'XL' – which has been thoroughly put through its paces in testing (see above video), Loeb reveals he has also been doing some unique training of his own.
“We have done some tests in France with the car,” he explained.
Rather ominously for Loeb's X Games competitors, the DS3 XL is not dissimilar to the rally car with which Loeb has enjoyed such huge levels of success. The Frenchman will also have much more power at his disposal with this RallyCross special – something he’s clearly going to enjoy.
“The power is great,” he said. “The handling is different for various reasons, but I felt good after the tests. I cannot say I'm confident but I'm satisfied with the work we have done in such a short period of time.”
The 38-year-old Loeb has won the World Rally Championship crown every year since claiming his first title for Citroen in 2004. He has also tackled the 24 Hours of Le Mans (finishing in second place in 2006) and claimed three wins in the Race of Champions, an annual racing all- star event in which Pastrana has also participated.
And just in case you were thinking that Loeb is playing his assault on Sunday's RallyCross course -- the first round begins at 12:45 p.m. PST -- a little too cool, make no mistake, his trip to L.A. is not a vacation.
“I will be trying to win,” he confirmed. “Obviously, I have to challenge Travis, who has invited to me to compete against him and the various drivers there. Hopefully, I won’t look ridiculous.”
We doubt there will be much chance of that.
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