Sébastien Loeb, the eight-time World Rally Champion, will race in the RallyCross event at the Summer X Games 2012 at the end of the month. It will be his first time competing in North America.
“I love racing and I’m always interested in trying out new categories," said Loeb, who leads the WRC this season. "A week after the New Zealand Rally has finished, I’ll be in Los Angeles to take up the challenge set for me by Travis!"
Loeb was referring to a video released by Travis Pastrana, challenging Loeb to race at the X Games. Pastrana, in addition to his NASCAR duties, competes in the Global RallyCross series.
On Thursday, Citroën issued a statement, saying that Loeb was accepting the challenge and will race at the X Games with a Citroën DS3 ‘XL’. The 'XL' stands for "X Games" and "Loeb," and the car was specially developed for the event.
Cyrille Jourdan, the lead engineer for the project at Citroën Racing, said that while the car looks similar to the car that Loeb drives in the WRC series, the top rally series in the world, there are some differences.
"Although the design of the chassis and suspension systems are fairly similar, the powertrain is fundamentally different," Jourdan said. "The DS3 XL’s two-liter turbo engine develops 545 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Its acceleration isn’t far off that of an F1 car, covering 0 to 62 mph in 2.4 seconds!”
There is another significant difference between RallyCross and the WRC: WRC cars also seat a co-driver, who helps the driver navigate the long, winding street courses; RallyCross cars only seat the driver.
Loeb seems up for the challenge.
"Rallycross here in Europe provides some very spectacular racing, but the American version seems to be even more extreme," said Loeb. "So, I didn’t need to be asked twice when the opportunity arose to race against drivers like Marcus Grönholm in a 545-hp Citroën DS3!”
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