Turbo hose blows Loeb’s chances of Mettet victory


Sébastien Loeb ahead of Petter Solberg and Ken Block in a qualifying heat - Photo credit: Paulo Maria / DPPI

It was another weekend to forget for Sébastien Loeb since he made the full-time move to the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The nine-time FIA World Rally Champion entered this weekend’s fourth championship meeting in Mettet, Belgium, he was immediately on his rivals’ pace, putting out impressive qualifying heats in the first three rounds. As he entered the final session on Sunday, though, things started going downhill, suffering contact with another competitor which hampered the Frenchman’s results.

Worse still, in his semifinal Loeb sustained even harder contact, spinning off the track. He quickly recovered, but his Peugeot sustained such damage that Loeb could do no better than bringing it home in sixth position, thus failing to sit alongside his team-mate, Timmy Hansen, on the grid for the final.

“It turned out to be a pretty disappointing weekend for me,” remarks Loeb.

“I was on the pace up to Q3 but things didn’t go so well in Q4, and my semi-final didn’t go any better. To begin with, I was forced out to the outside of Turn 1, but I managed to fight back. Then a turbo hose came free and stopped the car. I hope things will go better for me at the next round at Lydden Hill.”

Team Peugeot-Hansen are now getting ready for the British round of the WorldRX, on 26-28 May at the oldest rallycross venue in the world, Lydden Hill. Last year, the Hansen brothers, Timmy and Kevin, both reached the final there, finishing third and fourth respectively, while Loeb finished a disappointing fifth in his semifinal.