At Dreux the ‘Paris West’ circuit played out the final round of the French Rallycross Championship where, despite having wrapped up the title and having no need to push hard, champion-elect Jerome Grosset-Janin ended the year in great style on what is the home track for the Chanoine Competition team he drives for. Starting from pole, Grosset-Janin led the final from the start. “Knapick” had a great event, qualifying second and holding position in the final until his car let him down. Also showing well in the final event of the year, Alexandre Theuil benefitted from “Knapick’s” problem and picked up second place ahead of Fabien Pailler who started the final in sixth place after problems in the heats but progressed well to appear on the podium. Christophe Jouet brought his Peugeot 207 home in fourth place with the similar cars of Rudolphe Audran and Stephane de Ganay next up and Julien Debin seventh after a problem delayed him at the start. Adeline Sangnier (Citroen C2) claimed the Super1600 honours in the last event of the year, David Olivier (Twingo) second ahead of new champion Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Clio) and home town hero Fabien Chanoine (Dacia Sandero). Christophe Saunois (Toyota Corolla) confirmed the Division Three title with a win in the series finale where he finished ahead of Florent Beduneau’s Mini on a day when Marc Morize was unusually out of the frame. The big surprise of the day came in Division Four where Ludovic Surin, in his first rallycross event, progressed from the B final and then made good use of the Joker Lap to beat a grid full of experienced rivals and win at his first attempt. The Peugeot 306 driver led home Tommy Terpereau who also had a strong event in his Honda Civic. The new for 2013 Renault Twingo Cup had already produced its champion in Cyril Raymond who won the B final but progressed no further than eighth in the final. At the front, Aurelien Crochard led home Fermin Cadeddu to win the series finale.
The event in France reached its peak on Sunday, but up in Sweden end-of-season fun and games had focused on Saturday at Karlstad where the NGK Masters took place. Not rallycross in the strictest sense of the word, this annual folkrace event has built into a high-profile bash in which all manner of prominent drivers take part. This year that included regular participant and newly crowed Swedish Rallycross Champion Peter Hedstrom (Saab 99), Timmy Hansen in a similar car, Junior World Rally Champion and sometime rallycrosser Pontus Tidemand in a Volvo 240 estate and defending champion, and Supernational rallycross star, Daniel Wall as team mate to Tidemand in the impressively equipped Autoexperten squad. Wall emerged as best of that bunch, Hansen coming through in one piece as a qualifier while Hedstrom rolled out of the event and Tidemand went out in the first lap of the final. The winner was Martin Lunqvist (VW Golf) who survived the wild first lap to take a comfortable win. The event contains separate sections for female competitors, won by Sandra Hultgren (Saab) while Malin Gjerstad, who won a similar event in Norway earlier this year, found no luck in Sweden and was out after the first heat. The ‘Veterans’ event was won by Peter Eriksson in another Saab while Sunday’s Junior event drew 70 starters and was won by Kevin Eriksson who backed up his 2012 win in the event by beating Anders Hallqvist in the final. The event was brimful of action and can be reviewed thanks to a recording of the live webcast.
In the UK many rallycross fans had their eyes and ears tuned into the last round of the British Touring Car Championship where Andrew Jordan, one of our own, stood on the verge of his greatest success. Entering the three-race final event of the season Jordan had a handsome points advantage, but saw that evaporate after becoming the innocent victim of an incident that put him out of race two. A perfectly measured drive from the back of the grid in the last race was enough for him to secure the title. Jordan, who began his race career in Junior Rallycross at the end of 2003, and progressed to be the youngest ever winner of a Supercar event, before moving to circuit racing said, ” It was my aim at the start of the season to win the title and we’ve done it – it’s just such an emotional feeling. It’s hard to explain – it’s relief but mostly complete joy to have won this as a team.” Jordan has renewed his association with rallycross this year, as co-commentator on the FIA European Rallycross Championship TV programmes and remains interested in driving in the discipline again in the future.
Rally star Ramona Karlsson has gone public on her aim to compete in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2014. The Swede has been investigating the series for some time this year and tested an OMSE Fiesta at Kinnekulle recently. This week she nailed her colours to the rallycross mast and made it clear that rallycross is her priority for 2014. “I like the arena format which attracts a lot of media, audience and sponsors, I also like the explosivity of the sport. It’s tough and extreme and I think it will suit me. My background in rallies is a large benefit and I look forward to take the next step in my career,” said Karlsson who began her motor sport career at 12-years-old and drove in Junior Rallycross in Sweden, twice placing in the top three of the championship. This year Karlsson became the first woman driver ever to win a round of the Swedish Rally Championship and placed second in the series.
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