Four-time World Touring Car champion Yvan Muller will become the latest international star to contest the FIA World Rallycross Championship after being confirmed for this year's World RX of France in September.
The Frenchman, who is also a former British Touring Car champion and ten-time Andros Trophy winner, will be making his rallycross debut when he climbs aboard an Albatec Racing-prepared Peugeot 208 Supercar as team-mate to current Euro RX championship leader, and fellow countryman, Jerome Grosset-Janin.
WTCC team-mate to Sebastien Loeb - who also contested the French RX round two years ago - Muller has been released by Citroen to join the Scottish-based Albatec team during a break in his touring car schedule. The veteran has already undergone a test with Albatec at Faleyras in France where he was immediately setting competitive times.
“I've wanted to do rallycross for a long time,” Muller admitted, “It's been on my mind for four or five years, but I didn't have the opportunity, the good opportunity, or the time to do it.
“I'm really looking forward to doing Lohéac. Firstly, it's very well known in France, and rallycross now is at a high level, so I think it's just the right time to do it. The test with Albatec in Faleyras was good. It was my first experience, so I learnt and saw much more how rallycross is, what it's all about.”
Muller will join Albatec at a second test at Loheac in August, in preparation for the French RX round which, last year, was attended by more than 70,000 people. The star driver's participation this year looks likely to add further interest in Loheac, with tickets already on sale.
“I'm very excited about Yvan joining us at what is the biggest rallycross event on the 2015 schedule,” Andy Scott, Albatec Racing team principal, commented, “We had a great result there last year, reaching the semi-finals, while, in 2013, Kris Meeke showed everybody the potential of our Peugeot 208 RX Supercar. We had a very successful test with Yvan - he's totally committed, and obviously an incredibly fast and professional driver, who will I'm certain fit in very well with the team and indeed rallycross.
“Having an all-French line-up, aboard French cars, at the biggest event on the French rallycross calendar will, I'm sure, contribute to the amazing atmosphere the event always attracts.”
For Martin Anayi, World RX managing director, Muller's inclusion on the Loheac entry only serves to underlines rallycross' growing attraction.
“The World RX paddock is a playground of champions, with drivers from various motorsport disciplines including F1, WRC, DTM, X Games, Pikes Peak and Formula Drift,” he pointed out, “It's fantastic to be able to include a World Touring Car Champion to our list of drivers who are clearly interest in the rising popularity of our sport. The 'Loeb effect' from 2013 was phenomenal and it's likely that Yvan's participation this year will attract a record number of spectators at Loheac.”