Kris Meeke to make European Rallycross debut in France
|By David Evans||Wednesday, July 17th 2013, 09:57 GMT|
Kris Meeke will take on Sebastien Loeb and Petter Solberg in the Loheac European Rallycross round next month.
The Northern Irishman has begun a two-day test in the Albatec-run Peugeot 208 Supercar he will use for the August 30-September 1 event.
"This opportunity came up and, while my main priority remains a full-time drive in the World Rally Championship, I couldn't say no to it," said Meeke. "It's a toe in the water for me, it just happens that a toe in the water means a supercar for the first time and competition including Sebastien Loeb and Petter Solberg."
Both his rivals have experience of rallycross, with Solberg in the middle of a full season of ERC action and Loeb having won in the X Games last year prior to his ERC one-off.
"Rallycross is where Petter started and now he's back," said Meeke, "and Sebastien did X Games last year. It'll be tough. Petter knows what this is all about and Sebastien... well he's Sebastien Loeb and we know he can turn his hand to anything."
While he has not raced in rallycross before, Meeke has competed at rallycross meetings.
"I did three British Rallycross rounds in the rage buggies race," he said. "Admittedly, a rage buggy's not the perfect preparation for a supercar - but at least I've got an idea of the kind of environment we're going to be in.
"I'm certainly not scared or anything like that. If I'm sat there with Loeb on one side and Solberg on the other, then the three of us have a piece of metal with an engine and it's up to us to see who can make the best use of it. We'll just press the throttle and go for it.
"In rallycross I've got nothing to lose. I honestly have no idea how I'm going to get on and it would be stupid to try and predict anything, but going in there and measuring myself against the best in the world is a great chance for me."