Sébastien Loeb happy with podium finish in Canada


Photo credit: Paulo Maria / DPPI

Sébastien Loeb has achieved another podium finish at this weekend’s FIA World Rallycross Championship round eight in Trois-Rivières, Canada, where he closed third overall, after a weekend full of action.

On his Q1 run, the Frenchman was hampered by a wet track, which dried out later, to the advantage of his rivals that raced after him. In Q2, he really had no chance to avoid Andreas Bakkerud‘s car, that spun as a consequence of a driveshaft failure. Better luck was to come the following day, when he posted two consecutive fourth-fastest times on both qualifiers, thus entering the semi-final stage in sixth overall.

Come his semi-final race, he started from the second row, and his P3 finish meant he would later start his final from the back of the grid, not the ideal place to aim at a podium. But Loeb’s determination paid off, and even his team-mate Timmy Hansen‘s mechanical failure on lap five played its part in the Alsatian’s podium, although there was nothing he could do to stop the dominating Volkswagen squad of winner Johan Kristoffersson and double World Champion Petter Solberg (second). Loeb’s podium finish also moved him four points closer to third overall in the Championship, a place that currently belongs to reigning champion Mattias Ekström.

“After having a hellish day on Saturday, when nothing favoured us, I had a great second half to the meeting,” Loeb reckons.

“The Q3 and Q4 were two good races with my Peugeot 208 WRX, whose balance was again quite good on this atypical track, which holds the longest straight line in the championship. In the semi-final, we maybe could have gained an extra place by going for the Joker Lap a bit later, but that’s racing…

“I’m also particularly satisfied to climb on the podium after starting so far out on the grid in the final. I certainly benefited from my team-mate Timmy Hansen’s mechanical failure, but even before that, I had fought well to be fourth at the first turn, to find the opening on Toomas Heikkinen and get away from him!

“Once again, the team gave everything and this result is a well-deserved reward for their efforts.

In four weeks, the World RX championship returns to Europe for its ninth meeting of the season, on Loeb’s home ground in Lohéac, France, the same track where the Frenchman made his European Rallycross début back in 2013: last year, the Frenchman also finished third, behind winner Kristoffersson and second-classified Bakkerud.