Seven days in rallycross, March 28

by Tim Whittington |

LD Motorsports announced yesterday that double European TouringCar champion Derek Tohill, and former Super1600 event winner Krzysztof Skorupski will drive a pair of Citroen DS3’s in the FIA World Rallycross Championship this season, under the ‘LD Motorsports World RX Team’ banner.

“It’s shaping up to be an absolutely huge year, and signing Derek and Krzysztof is exactly what we need for the LD Motorsports World RX Team; the right mix of experience, speed and talent,” said team owner Liam Doran.  “I’m very excited to have Krzysztof on board. It’s great to be able to give a talented young driver the step up in his career he needs, and also help the sport grow. He is just incredibly fast whichever way you look at it. Of course Derek’s past results speak for themselves, but it’s also his consistency and ability to think on his feet that put him over the top. Coming from any category, or class, into Supercar is a big step, but Derek looked at home in the car straight away; I’m confident he’ll be mixing it up at the front when we get to Portugal.” Both Tohill and Skorupski tested at Essay in France earlier this week, and will race the the opening round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship this weekend at Lydden Hill, in preparation for round two of the World series in May.

After a winter of planning Chanoine Competition has announced that it will step up from the French championship and tackle the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 2014. French title winning driver Jerome Grosset-Janin will remain with the Renault team, which will again be engineered by Mtechnologies. “Seeing our results in previous European races and our 2013 French Champion title, we wanted to aim higher in 2014. Our main target is, of course, a good position in the European Championship but also a good result in the World Rallycross Championship event at  Lohéac to help us find new partners to enter the World Championship in 2015,” said team owner Philippe Chanoine. The team will also contest its home event, the final round of the French championship at Dreux, but for Grosset-Janin the focus is on the new international challenge and making sure he has the best car beneath him. “We have planned some tests and some improvements have been made on the car. But the main point is the reliability! We know where we stand in terms of efficiency and we know the high cost to pay for a technical problem … This year the competitive level will reach a height like never before,” he said.

Chanoine Competition will have a busy year as Fabien Chanoine will move up from Super1600 to drive a Supercar in the French championship. The son of team boss Philippe, Fabien will use the squad’s Renault Clio II for his first year in a Supercar. The car was used by David Meslier to win the French title in 2008 and saw action last summer when Philippe Chanoine drove it to fourth place in a French championship event at the new Pont de Ruan track. “Rallycross is being developed at the global level and this trend focuses on the Supercar category, so I opted for this new challenge to reach new partners and ‘surf’ the revival of rallycross,” said Fabien Chanoine.

Pailler Competition revealed its 2014 programme in which a brace of Peugeot 208 Supercars will be run for brothers Fabien and Jonathan Pailler. The team, run by 1993 European champion and multiple French title holder Jean-Luc Pailler, will concentrate on the French championship in which it has long standing partners. As last year’s runner-up, Fabien Pailler starts as pre-season favourite for the French crown but is not counting his chickens in what is a notoriously competitive series. “It is certain that the French title is a significant line on a CV when it comes to looking for new partners and it would be a great reward for the whole team, but it is far too early to think about,” he said, “I have long wanted an international programme but rather than risk doing things by halves, we chose to we focus on France and add dates outside that do not clash, we will be at Lydden and Loheac for the FIA World Rallycross Championship events and maybe some more as well.” While the older of the Pailler brothers get a new car, Jonathan will take over the 2013 model for his graduation from Division Three. “The idea of both of driving in Supercar came from our team partners who wanted to see two brothers racing together in Supercar in the French championship. I’m lucky to be able to rely on a team that can guide me quickly as I make the change to Supercar,” he said.

Volkswagen’s officially supported FIA World Rallycross Championship team, Marklund Motorsport, has appointed Atte Varsta as Head of Marketing and Communications.The Finn, a partner in driver management firm V&V Sport Management (which has Marklund driver Toomas Heikkinen on its roster), will be responsible for the team’s marketing and communications strategy, as well as business development. Varsta arrives at an exciting time for Marklund Motorsport, which recently signed an exclusive contract with Volkswagen Motorsport to become the manufacturer’s official supported team in the newly created FIA World Rallycross Championship.

Skateboard superstar Danny Way will make his rallycross debut this weekend when he races in the Swift Sport Championship in the opening round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship at Lydden. Way who has become famous as an X Games gold medalist and for performing stunts like jumping the Great Wall of China on a skateboard and dropping out of a helicopter onto a skateboard is now looking to challenge himself further in the direction of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. The DC Shoes co-founder has been working with driver coach Peter Gwynne prior to starting in his first event. “Having sat with many drivers of all abilities through the years, it is apparent why Danny is so recognised as an ‘athlete’ rather than just a skateboarder. It is both his physical and mental attitude that sets him apart from many, wanting to understand all the elements involved in making the car perform, rather than just getting in the car and wanting to drive quick. As a result, his progress has been impressive,” said Gwynne.

Lydden Hill has announced that Autosport, the most respected motor sport magazine in the World will be title sponsor of the British round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship that takes place at ‘the home of rallycross’ on May 24-25.





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