Hyundai Motorsport team principal Andrea Adamo is not a man to waste his words. When he told Pierre-Louis Loubet he has a big problem, the reigning WRC2 champion listened. But couldn’t really do much to fix the issue.
Loubet made his debut in a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC at last weekend’s Rally Stars Roma and was an instant hit, leading the event at the end of day one before finishing second to Dani Sordo.
Adamo had no complaints about the 23-year-old Hyundai junior’s efforts in the car, it was more of a family matter that concerned the team boss.
“He has only one problem and it’s a huge big one… I was working with his father [Yves], so he makes me feel old,” Adamo told DirtFish.
“I told him: ‘This is your biggest problem and you need to go very fast and very well to help me forget about this problem’.
“Every time I see Loubet, I say a bad word and remember I am getting old.”
Yves Loubet drove Lancia Deltas for both the factory and Jolly Club World Rally Championship teams in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
The younger Loubet, who will drive the i20 Coupe WRC once again this weekend on Rally di Alba, looks set to follow in his father’s footsteps, according to Adamo.
“I’m not the kind of guy investing money and support badly,” added Adamo.
“We have seen this improvement [in Loubet] over the last three years and when you talk to him and to his co-driver, you can see that they have a really smart approach.
“Pierre-Louis has started to work with the pressure a little bit, by checking the times and looking at the data. Testing is good, but when you put the helmet on and you have the guy counting down at the start of the stage, the emotion is different.
“It’s not only about fitting the helmet and flooring the pedal, it’s the serious preparation he puts in.
“He’s a well-educated guy and, at the end of the day, we are in rallying for the marketing reasons and to have people who are approachable and can handle themselves in the correct way, this is the cherry on the cake.
“To win a championship you need many cherries on a cake, but from this weekend in Roma, I am very happy with everything I saw. Not only from Pierre-Louis, but from Dani and everybody here, including Craig [Breen] and all the R5 cars.
“But don’t forget next weekend, don’t forget Rally di Alba is where the action is coming. What we saw here is the biggest ever shakedown for another event – we are here preparing for Alba!”