Portugal: Loris Pascaud: “I feel ready”

In the list of starters for the Portugal rally, a new name appears alongside Pierre-Louis Loubet in the Skoda Fabia RS Rally2. Passionate for a long time, Gapençais Loris Pascaud intends to seize his chance at this level.

Published on 09/05/2024 à 18:01

Loïc ROCCI

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Portugal: Loris Pascaud: “I feel ready”

Before sailing Pierre-Louis Loubet, Loris Pascaud was Charles Munster's co-driver in a Hyundai (Photo: Bastien Roux/DPPI)

What is immediately surprising upon first contact with this 24-year-old boy is his calm and serenity. “ So far, I have only competed in one world event at the Acropolis 2022 with Frédéric Rosati, a gentleman driver, He explains. I'm about to take a plunge into the deep end alongside Pierre-Louis and at Skoda. This doesn't put any particular pressure on me. I feel ready. By working and giving your all, whether in France or in WRC, there is no reason why I can't do it. With the images from the on-board cameras, I was largely able to prepare at home. We had 90% of the marks. This lightened my workload during reconnaissance. For several seasons, I had been working as co-driver support with Pierre-Louis and my job consisted in particular of doing preparation and comparisons with previous years to relieve the co-driver. Having already looked at Portugal last year helped me this year. »

Although he is still a novice at this level, Loris has more than 90 races under his belt since 2020, in the French championship on asphalt, on gravel and also in Belgium with Charles Munster. Before taking the start in Porto, Pierre-Louis and his new navigator were able to adjust during two rallies. “ It was very good to have done this race in Qatar and the event in Portugal a few days ago, he confirms. We are not going to rush into the unknown. We were able to put things in place and I feel like we are already well established in the car. There's no reason to put yourself through a lot of stress by telling yourself: I'm coming to the WRC, I'm not going to know how to do it. What will change is that there are cameras in the car…and we will go live! »

What helps Loris Pascaud approach this first meeting with relaxation is that he felt Loubet's confidence. “ Many drivers are reluctant about the experience acquired in world championships, but this was not the case for Pierre-Louis, explains the Haut-Alpin. He told me that we were going into a season with fairly high objectives. It was nice for me to see that someone was willing to trust me and give me the experience that some people have always asked for. This represents a nice challenge and I will do everything to meet it. As someone who is passionate about rallies, I think I don't fully realize it. When I was watching Pierre-Louis' world debut, I thought it was good for a young guy to try his luck at this level... and now I'm sitting to his right. I try to rid myself of imposter syndrome by telling myself that I did what I had to do to be here. » For the Tricolore crew, the event will start this evening with a 2,94 km asphalt superspecial. The real challenge will be tomorrow with 8 special stages and 125 km timed.

Loïc ROCCI

Journalist specializing in rallying past, present and future... and with a southern accent

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