Nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb won the British Rallycross Championship season opener at Silverstone, the first rallycross event to be staged at the Formula 1 British Grand Prix venue.
Silverstone has succeeded Lydden Hill as the host venue of Britain’s World Rallycross Championship round for 2018, and the British RX opener offered teams a first opportunity to experience the track, located inside the circuit’s Stowe complex, before the World RX round in May.
Loeb, who will race for Peugeot in World Rallycross this year, entered the event in a works 208 Supercar and was one of three World RX drivers in action on the kilometre-long circuit alongside Peugeot team-mate Timmy Hansen and new EKS Audi driver Andreas Bakkerud.
Fresh from his first WRC event on gravel for five years in Mexico last weekend, Loeb was second on Intermediate times after the Q3 race, which gave him pole position for the second semi-final, while Bakkerud and Hansen were in the first group.
Loeb duly won his heat and started the final from pole, before beating the similar Peugeot of Hansen to victory in the six-lap, eight-car race by 3.295 seconds after serving his joker on the first lap.
Bakkerud rounded out the podium, while Julian Godfrey was the best of the British RX contingent in fourth in his Mitsubishi Mirage.