The sixth round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship takes place at Holjes, Sweden this weekend and boats the best entry of the season in terms of quantity, and quality.
The annual pre-Holjes media day took place on Thursday afternoon, a press conference for the top permanent and wildcard drivers in the RallycrossRX Championship was followed by on track action, members of the media being chauffeured around the Holjes circuit by some of the top supercars competing at the event.
DTM star Mattias Ekstrom contests the event at the wheel of a Marklund Motorsport VW Polo R supercar, and was present to give passenger rides to a lucky few, also finding time to give his father Bengt a ride around the circuit. A former top rallycross driver himself, Bengt Ekstrom then took to the wheel himself, onlookers unable to tell that the last time he drove a racing car was in 1996. “I was defiantly more scared than he was for sure,” said Ekstrom Jnr, “he looked pretty cool. It was a very long time ago I was here watching him, and now he is here watching me in rallycross, that’s a great feeling.”
Mattias Ekstrom gave rallycross cars a great endorsement at the media event; “Nothing beats the feeling of a rallycross supercar. I’ve tried Nascar, DTM and LMP1 but these cars are the best.”
The Kristoffersson Motorsport team make their return to the European Championship this weekend, headed by former rallycross star Tommy Kristoffersson. Their presence in the paddock is felt, the cars being run by their VW Dealer Team that are more used to running cars in the Swedish Touring Car Championship. Unfortunately for the Scirocco outfit, Tore Kristoffersson was forced to pull off the circuit on his first lap of the day with engine troubles. The team have since resolved the problem. Rally driver Pontus Tidemand enters his first rallycross event, and despite a lot of testing with the team, knows that being on the circuit is the real indication of how competitive they will be. “We know the car is good, but until we race it’s not easy to work out the level. I just want to do VW proud,” said Tidemand.
Another Swedish rally driver in the shape of ex-JWRC Champion Patrick Sandell competes in his first RallycrossRX event at the wheel of an OMSE run Fiesta. Sandell’s team mate for the event is Mikael Thiman who makes his first supercar start here. The former Swedish SuperNational driver is rated by OMSE team boss Andreas Eriksson.
Returning to RallycrossRX after contesting round five in Norway are Norwegian drivers Tommy Rustad and Henning Solberg, while Toni Lukander rejoins the series, partnering the older of the Solberg brothers in the Eklund Motorsport team.
The headline wildcards for the event will have their work cut out in Holjes, a host of local wildcards join the RallycrossRX permanent drivers all wanting to enter the summer break with as many points as possible, on what is widely renowned as the favourite drivers circuit on the calendar.
Super1600 and TouringCar also have both quality and quantity in their entries for Sweden, with a number of local wildcards capable of upsetting the order.
Action got underway yesterday afternoon for the Supernational and Crosskart support classes, while JRX ran their first two heats, Kevin Hansen dominating on his home circuit in both of the first races.
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Keep up to date with the live results as they happen from the event here in Sweden here.
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