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Peugeot Commits To WRX 2018 With Loeb As Ford Exits With Block

AUTO - FIA WRX WORLD RALLYCROSS PORTUGAL 2017

Peugeot will continue its partnership in the World Rallycross Championship in 2018 with nine-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Loeb.Peugeot joined the WRX in 2014 following the championship gaining ‘world championship status.  It won the teams championship title in 2015 with the 208 WRX.Following the uncertainty about its future, Peugeot reiterated its commitment to the series on today.“The brand is ready to support the evolutions in E-WRX as part of its technological plan, which aims to offer 80% of the models in electrified version by 2023,” read a statement from the manufacturer.”The brand wants to be involved in a new challenge with the idea of accompanying its own energy transition but also to create a strong and unique link with new customers and the new generation.”

Peugeot brand chief executive Jean-Philippe Imparato added: “The E-WRX is the perfect fit for this strategy, adding “Our ambassador Sebastien Loeb will support us in this daring new adventure.”Loeb has been partnered by Swedish driver Timmy Hansen, who has driven for the squad since its inception.


Meanwhile:

Ken Block’s Ford-backed Hoonigan Racing Division team will withdraw from the World Rallycross Championship after the final round of the 2017 season in South Africa next month.

The shock announcement comes at the end of the team’s second year in World RX, the outfit having begun its programme at the start of 2016 with the M-Sport-built Ford Focus RS RX.

Ford Performance released the news today.

“Although we have thoroughly enjoyed competing in the exciting FIA World Rallycross Championship, it’s a natural time for us to take a break as the future of the series takes shape,” said Dave Pericak, Global Director of Ford Performance.

“To continue in WRX would have required the development of a new race car, and with so much discussion happening around the future of rallycross from a powertrain package standpoint, it made sense for us to pause until it’s better defined.”

“Rest assured, we remain absolutely committed to hot hatches and all things performance and think rallycross has a bright future.”

Ford is the only manufacturer of the four currently involved in World RX (alongside Volkswagen, Audi and Peugeot) not to have publicly registered an interest in the potential introduction of electric technology in the sport.

 

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