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Lydden Hill World RX1e Saturday schedule cancelled after paddock fire

The opening day of action in the World Rallycross championship's top RX1e class at Lydden Hill has been cancelled following a paddock fire which destroyed Sebastien Loeb’s team equipment.

Sebastien Loeb, Guerlain Chicherit, Special ONE Racing

Sebastien Loeb, Guerlain Chicherit, Special ONE Racing

Red Bull Content Pool

On Friday morning a fire broke out at the Kent track which has wrecked Special ONE Racing’s entire paddock equipment and cars, including both Loeb and team-mate Guerlain Chicherit’s Lancia Delta Evo-E RX machines. Nobody was injured in the fire.

Due to an ongoing investigation into the fire the World Rallycross track action and races scheduled for Saturday have been cancelled, with a review under way to decide if action can resume on Sunday at Lydden Hill.

Both the WRX’s RX2e championship and the British Rallycross 5 Nations series were unaffected by the blaze and their respective schedules will continue as planned on both Saturday and Sunday.

A statement from World Rallycross organisers read: “Following a fire in the service area of the Special ONE Racing team at Lydden Hill Race Circuit in Kent, England today (Friday, 21 July), the FIA World Rallycross Championship races scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, 22 July) will not take place while investigations continue regarding the cause of the fire.

“The fire began just before 08:45, with fire crews working hard to bring it under control and extinguish it as swiftly as possible. Regrettably, the entire Special ONE Racing area was burnt down, including both of their RX1e cars. There were no injuries and no other racing cars were affected.

Sebastien Loeb, Special ONE Racing

Sebastien Loeb, Special ONE Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“The venue was not open to the public as there was no track action scheduled for the day.

“This incident does not affect the FIA RX2e Championship or Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy, which will continue as planned. A decision regarding Sunday’s scheduled World RX races will be made on Saturday.”

Loeb, who has returned to the WRX series this season after a five-year absence, is contesting the 2023 campaign with the GCK-supported Special One squad running Lancias and is currently eighth in the drivers’ standings after the opening three rounds.

Five-time and reigning champion Johan Kristoffersson leads the WRX championship thanks to winning all three opening rounds.

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