Monday, May 27, 2024

Special ONE Racing Out Of The 2023 World RX Championship

Special ONE Racing have confirmed that they are unable to compete in the last four rounds of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship. The fire that broke out on Friday 21 July at Lydden Hill Race Circuit destroyed both of the Lancia Delta Evo-e RX cars and one of the two workshop trucks supporting the team.

The fire broke out just before 8:45am on Friday 21 July in the number 9 car of nine-time world rally champion Sébastian Loeb. It then grew and spread rapidly to Guerlain Chicherit‘s car and the workshop truck. The fire brigade were rapidly on the scene but were unable to put out the fire. Thanks to a quick evacuation and the professionalism of the Special ONE Racing team, there were miraculously no injuries.

The FIA is investigating the cause of the fire, which is currently unknown. As a result, the RX1e racing at Lydden Hill has been cancelled, with all other racing continuing as planned. At this stage, Special ONE Racing says, “we can already state that no handling errors were made by the staff of the Special ONE Racing team, nor by those of its partners.”

The two Delta Evo-e RX cars were a fan favourite on the 2023 grid. Credit: Rallycross Promoter GmbH / Red Bull Content Pool

The loss of the two Lancias is a blow to the sport. They were the most talked about cars on the 2023 grid, garnering huge attention and praise at every event. Special ONE Racing added “the team would like to thank all those who have sent messages of encouragement since Friday, and more generally since the start of the adventure in April. We’re proud of the response to our two magnificent Delta Evo-e RXs, of which all that remains today are photos and videos.

Loeb expressed sympathy for his colleagues: “the first essential piece of news was that no member of the team was injured. My thoughts go out to all the men and women who have worked or are working on this project with such determination and passion, and who have seen everything go up in smoke in just a few moments.”

Chicherit added how impressed he was by his team: “Watching our cars go up in smoke was a particularly painful moment for me and for the whole team, who had been investing so much love and energy in this programme for months. Aside from the material losses, I would like to point out that there were no injuries among the staff, who were very professional. I would like to express my admiration and pride in each and every member of the team for having acted correctly and courageously from the beginning to the end of the fire.”

Special ONE Racing drivers Guerlain Chicerit and Sébastian Loeb. Credit: Rallycross Promoter GmbH / Red Bull Content Pool