Monday, March 4, 2024

RX1e Cancelled for Saturday at Lydden Hill, other series set to race

Lydden Hill has confirmed that the British round of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship will go ahead this weekend (22/23 July) despite a fire that broke out in the paddock on Friday. Unfortunately, while the investigation into the cause of the fire continues, the main RX1e category will not race on Saturday.

The fire broke out at the Special ONE Racing team area on the morning of Friday 21 July. Fire crews and on-site staff responded quickly and were able to extinguish the fire before it spread through the paddock. The venue was closed to the public throughout Friday and there was some concern that the event might not go ahead at all. However, thanks to the Kent Fire and Rescue Service and the on-site team, the event is due to still take place.

WRC Promotors released the following statement on Friday:

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.

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.

Regrettably, due to the incident, it will not be possible to broadcast Saturday’s racing on RX+. Broadcasting will resume on Sunday. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

FIA World Rallycross Championship / WRC Promotors

Lydden Hill Race Circuit said on its official social media:

We are pleased to say nobody was injured and that we are working with the FIA, Motorsport UK and the FIA World Rallycross Championship to amend the schedule. Currently, the event is planned to go ahead this weekend. The camping field is open to those that have pre-booked, but there will be no access to the paddock this evening.”

Lydden Hill Race Circuit

Sébastian Loeb with his Lancia Delta Evo-e RX earlier in the championship. Credit: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

So far, no cause of the fire has been given. It is understood, however, that both of the Lancia Delta Evo-e RX cars have been destroyed. On his official social media, Special ONE Racing driver Sébastian Loeb said “after the fire broke out under the structure sheltering our two cars this morning, the first breaking news was that no Special One team members were injured. My thoughts go out to all the men and women who worked or are working on this project with so much determination and passion and who saw it all go up in smoke in a matter of moments...”