The eye-catching, retrolicious all-electric Lancia Delta conversions designed by French motorsport engineering firm GCK Performance burned to a crisp while sitting in the service area during the British round of the World Rallycross Championship (WRX), where Sebastien Loen and Guerlain Chicherit were set to pit them against their rivals in the top RX1e category.
Wearing a Martini-like livery, the two Delta Evo-e RX EVs were entered into this year’s WRX by Special One Racing, which says on its website that a fire broke out in the number 9 car, which is normally driven by Sebastien Loeb, on Friday 21 July, just before 8.45 am. The fire quickly spread to Guerlain Chicherit’s number 36 EV and then to one of the team’s two workshop trucks present in the paddock at Lydden Hill.
The racing team adds that even though the scene was quickly evacuated and the fire brigade came to the scene in due time, none of the three vehicles could be saved from the flames.
The FIA has launched an investigation to determine the fire, and the racing team says that the fire occurred while no one was physically touching the car. However, the cars were being recharged for several minutes when the fire started.
“After the fire that broke out under the structure housing our two cars, the first essential piece of news was that no member of the team was injured,” Loeb said. “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.”
Guerlain Chicherit, Loeb’s teammate and the founder of Special One Racing, said that seeing the electric Deltas go up in smoke was a particularly painful moment for him and for the whole team.
“Aside from the material losses, I would kike to point out that there were no injuries among the staff, who were very professional,” he added. “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.”
The Lacia-based electric rallycross machines were powered by a dual-motor all-wheel drive setup that put out 671 horsepower, enabling a 0-62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) sprint in just 1.8 seconds.