Loeb to race at 2012 X Games rallycross

Loeb to race at 2012 X Games rallycross

The ultimate WRC champion Sebastian Loeb will be at this year's X Games in Los Angeles. Why? Because Travis Pastrana invited/challenged him to show up.

Why would Pastrana, a favorite to win or place in the competition, make his own job exponentially harder by inviting Loeb? Because he wants to race against--and win against--the best in the world. To see the challenge in his own words, visit the Red Bull Racing site.

As for Loeb, he said in a release yesterday, "I love racing and I'm always interested in trying out new categories. A week after the New Zealand Rally has finished, I'll be in Los Angeles to take up the challenge set for me by Travis!"

To help Loeb have the best possible chance of winning, a new Citroën DS3 rally car has been built for the purpose of the X Games extreme rallycross environment: the DS3 XL. The X is for X Games, and L is for Loeb. Citroen's lead engineer on the XL project describes it thus: "From a distance, the Rallycross DS3 looks quite similar to the WRC. Although the design of the chassis and suspension systems are fairly similar, the powertrain is fundamentally different. The DS3 XL’s two-liter turbo engine develops 545 bhp and 800 Nm [590 pound-feet] of torque. Its acceleration isn’t far off that of an F1 car, covering 0 to 100kph in 2.4 seconds!"

That's very brisk indeed. Pastrana--and the rest of the X Games racers--will be hard pressed to keep up with the combination of Loeb and the XL. Some of the rest of the racers include Marcus Gronholm, Tanner Foust, Stephan Verdier, Rhys Millen, Brian Deegan, Sverre Isachsen, Bucky Lasek, Ken Block, Dave Mirra, David Binks, Toomas Heikkenen, Patrick Moro, and Andy Scott.

To see the race for yourself, be sure to tune into the show on ESPN July 1 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.