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Loeb, 407kW DS3 in X challenge

2012-06-18 08:57

XL, BUT NOT EXTRA LARGE: The petite Citroen DS3 gets a healthy boost to 407kW to aid Sebastien Loeb in his X Games performance starting June 28, 2012..

Citroen’s rallying ace Sebastien Loeb will take on Marcus Gronholm in a 407kW DS3 XL at the 2012 X Games Los Angeles, the automaker has confirmed.

The hugely souped-up DS3 has a two-litre turbo engine capable of 407kW/800Nm and, Citroen says, covers the 0-100km/h sprint in 2.4 seconds.

The eight-times World Rally champion (71 career wins) will be tested against the best drivers from the Global Rallycross championship but said the prospect of racing in a new setting would not bother him.


“I love racing and I'm always interested in trying out new categories," he said. "A week after the New Zealand Rally I'll be in Los Angeles to take up the challenge set for me by rallycross driver Travis Pastrana (see video). Rallycross in Europe provides some very spectacular racing but the American version seems to be even more extreme.

"I didn’t need to be asked twice when the opportunity arose to race a 407kW Citroën DS3 against drivers such as Marcus Gronholm.”

The specially developed DS3 XL (for X Games and Loeb) is based on a car built by Hansen Motorsport although it was subjected to a series of updates from rally champ Citroen. Cyrille Jourdan, lead engineer for the project at Citroen Racing, said: “It’s always exciting to try out a new category and attempt to get the most out of the regulations.

“From a distance the Rallycross DS3 looks like the World Rally car but the design of the chassis and suspension are fairly similar. The powertrain, though, is fundamentally different.”


Compared with a rally car, the lack of co-driver and spare wheels means the engineers are required to rework the weight distribution. “That’s why the water radiator has been moved into the boot,” Jourdan explained.

The Citroën DS3 XL was recently put through its paces by Sebastien Loeb on a tracetrack after which he commented: “With all-wheel drive and the extra power, this DS3 really does go at some speed! We used the test sessions to try out a few different set-up options. However, we know American racetracks are very different and we'll have to adapt the car to the conditions there very quickly.”

The X Games event will be set up on the Gilbert Lindsay Plaza next to the Los Angeles Convention Centre where a temporary circuit will feature loose dirt sections and a jump of more than 20m.

Yves Matton, Citroen's racing director, said. "Once we had actually committed to the project, we prepared for the event with the utmost seriousness. 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, compared with our rivals who are used to this type of racing, but we’ll be fighting every inch of the way!”

The 2012 X Games Los Angeles will be held from June 28 to July 1, 2012.

The challenge...

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