LOEB AND RAYMOND CONTEST RALLYE DU VAR
France’s Sebastien Loeb and Cyril Raymond both starred on Rallye du Var last weekend, just two weeks after the final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Mosnter Energy in South Africa.
Driving a recently restored Peugeot 306 Maxi rally car, Loeb was reunited with former WRC co-driver Daniel Elena for the event. The pair climbed from sixth on stage one to third at the end of the opening day, before taking the lead on day two. Dropping to second but still in a fierce battle for the lead of the rally, Loeb was fastest on SS12 before engine failure ended his charge on SS13, the penultimate stage.
“The goal this weekend was above all to have fun, aboard a car that made Daniel and I dream at the beginning of our career,” said World RX driver Loeb. “Despite the retirement, we can say that it has been successful. I prefer that we retired at the end of the race rather than at the beginning, we have at least had the time to give pleasure to the fans and we have had a great time in the 306 Maxi. It must be taken seriously to set good times, but the sensations that it provides are exhilarating. It would have been nice to battle to the end but it's part of the race: we will now repair it to try again even better."
Raymond swapped his title-winning RX2 car for a Peugeot 208 R2 and was co-driven by girlfriend Nolwenn Durel. The pair progressed up the order throughout the rally, improving their position by over 40 places to finish 42nd of the 115 finishers.
"My main objective was to finish the rally, this being my first in the Peugeot 208 R2" said the RX2 Champion. "We progressively improved our times during the weekend, particularly during the longer 30km stage, in which my Rallycross experience massively helped as there was a mix of asphalt and dirt. It also helped me to adapt to the various stages quickly, although I still think my driving style is more suited to circuit-racing."
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