Loeb and Chicherit absent from the World RX Final at Hong Kong

Special ONE Racing Press release • 26 October 2023

Special ONE Racing and its drivers have decided to decline the promoter’s invitation to participate in the Hong Kong Rallycross, which features category 2 cars (RX2e) provided by the organization and equipped with QEV Technologies batteries. The team is disappointed by the lackluster handling of the aftermath of the fire that had devastated its cars and equipment three months ago in England, rendering the continuation of the championship with category 1 cars (RX1e) impossible. The batteries of these cars were deemed insufficiently reliable to guarantee the prevention of new fires.

On Friday, July 21, Special ONE Racing lost two race cars, a workshop truck, and valuable tools in a fire that occurred in the paddock of Lydden Hill Race Circuit (Great Britain), during the fourth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX). The significant material damage caused by the fire directly resulted in the partial suspension of the team’s sporting activities and those of its partners.

Various testimonies, surveillance camera footage, telemetry data, and expertise based on samples taken from the debris have definitively established the origin of the blaze: a thermal runaway of the lithium-ion battery onboard the car. Kreisel Electric, the supplier of this equipment, which is common to all RX1e category models, could not guarantee that such an incident would not recur in the future. Therefore, the FIA has decided not to allow these cars to compete until further notice. If this situation persists, it will have the consequence of jeopardizing the future of the discipline, as it undermines the well-being of all its stakeholders.

Today, the Special ONE Racing team regrets that no official analysis report or results have been provided by the FIA or Kreisel Electric. To date, no one seems willing to take responsibility for the fire that Special ONE Racing experienced three months ago. This lack of respect does not allow the team or its partners to move forward. In this context, the promoter’s invitation to take part in the Hong Kong Rallycross on 11 and 12 November with RX2e cars has been declined.

As the 2024 season approaches, the Special ONE Racing hopes to receive answers regarding the causes of past events and seeks assurances to enable the team to resume the championship next year with even more exceptional Delta Evo-e RX cars.