Rallycross has finally started to take root in the minds of Americans. For decades the World Rally Championship (WRC) has been wildly popular amongst 90% of the world much like Soccer (football as the official name across the pond) is outside of the U.S. When the X Games, cherished extreme sports Olypmic-esque event, debuted Rallycross to its fans America fell in love with the drivers and the cars they propelled to mostly unseen heights and speeds inside a stadium.
This year Sebastien Loeb, eight-time World Rally Champion, will be bringing his 2.0L turbo charged 545 hp and 590 lb-ft Citroen Racing DS3 XL (XL stands for XGames & Loeb) to the downtown Los Angeles X Games this summer. "I didn't need to be asked twice to race against Gronholm in a 545bhp Citroen DS3!", said Loeb as he proclaimed his excitement to participate in this years event. "I love racing and I'm always interested in trying out new categories. A week after the New Zealand Rally has finished; I'll be in Los Angeles to take up the challenge set for me by Travis (Pastrana)!
Unlike most Rallycross events across the globe, the X Games race is a bit different. There is no points system over a long race season. It's a one-day event to determine the ultimate winner of the gold medal. Cyrille Jourdan, lead engineer for the DS3 XL at Citroen Racing stated; "From a distance, the Rallycross DS3 looks quite similar to the WRC [model]. Although the design of the chassis and suspension systems are fairly similar, the powertrain is fundamentally different...It's acceleration isn't far off that of an F1 car, covering 0 to 60mph in 2.4 seconds!"
Aside from the prospect of taking part in what is undoubtedly a fun, spectator-oriented event, Citroen Racing and Loeb are determined to fight to win the race. Confirmed by Citroen Racing Director, Yves Matton,. "As it's a one-off event for us, we don't have to worry about managing our position in the championship. There's only one race and we are really determined to try and win it. It won't be easy because it will all be new to us... but we'll be fighting every inch of the way!"