Sébastien Loeb was delighted to secure his second FIA World Rallycross Championship victory as he topped an action-packed weekend of action at Mettet in Belgium.
The Team Peugeot Total driver showed strong pace throughout the weekend, taking second in Q1, fourth in Q2, tenth in Q3 and another second pace in Q4.
In the semi finals he won by seven seconds over EKS Audi Sport driver Andreas Bakkerud who was forced to joker twice after a jump-start and team-mate Timmy Hansen who valiantly fought back from the back of the grid after losing out at the first corner.
“It’s my 2nd win ever in my World RX career, and the 1st one this season!” said Loeb. “We already had 2 podiums so far, so it’s really great to keep up the momentum and now win here. It’s a nice achievement and I’m really happy for all the team. They deserved it! To be able to bring them the 1st victory is a real pleasure.”
During the final Loeb was among the front running cars but unaware that heading in to the last lap that although he was running in second place, leader Mattias Ekström was yet to take the joker lap.
“In the final, I thought that Mattias had already ‘jokered’ before and that I was fighting for second. Then in the last corner he took the joker and I won! I didn’t expect it, so it was an incredible feeling.”
In previous years the Peugeot’s have suffered a slow start to the season in comparison to competitors, this year under the works banner the 208 WRX’s are already showing their pace, making the team a strong contender for the season.
“The track here in Belgium is really challenging: you need to be very precise and even a little mistake is difficult to control.
“It’s just so demanding every lap, every corner. To be honest, we didn’t really know what to expect at the beginning of the season: what the level of all the teams would be.
“We have had some small developments and finally here we are in the game, and in the middle of an intense fight with all the other manufacturers. It’s really enjoyable to be able to be at the front.”