Overheating engine hampers Loeb’s potential Lydden podium

Photo credit: Paulo Maria / DPPI

There were mixed feelings for Sébastien Loeb after round five of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Lydden: the nine-time World Rally Champion, now competing in WorldRX for Team Peugeot-Hansen, for the third time since the beginning of the season managed to take his Peugeot 208 WRX all the way to the final, alongside his team-mate Timmy Hansen‘s sister car.

On the grid for the final, six-lap race, both the Frenchman and the Swede looked set for a potential podium finish: however, in the previous semi-final, Loeb damaged his radiator, and so he had to deal with an overheating engine throughout the final, managing no better than a fourth-place finish, behind the dominating VW Polos of Petter Solberg and Johan Kristoffersson and Andreas Bakkerud‘s Ford Focus RS.

“We always seem to perform better at the end of the weekend than at the start,” reckons Loeb.

“Petter Solberg and Johan Kristoffersson were unbeatable this time but we succeeded in fighting with the others. I had the feeling that I went well in qualifying but that didn’t convert into the sort of intermediate classification I thought I was going to achieve. In the final, an engine issue prevented me from targeting a top-three finish.”

Loeb’s next challenge, World RX of Norway, comes in a fortnight, 10-11 June. On the Norwegian track, the French rally legend finished fifth on his maiden season last year.