Seven days in rallycross, April 3

by Tim Whittington |

Swedish rally driver, driving instructor and FIA Women in Motorsport Commission member Ramona Karlsson took the wraps off her 2014 rallycross campaign, revealing a programme of seven events (possibly to be expanded) with an Eklund Motorsport Saab 93. Karlsson launched her season in Stockholm. “It feels great to be working with Per Eklund – one of Sweden’s top racing drivers,” explained 33-year-old Karlsson. “The team has a lot of experience and the Supercar class is where the most extreme rallycross cars are so I’m excited to be involved.  I’m obviously looking to fight with the top drivers and it’s good that I’m able to score both Euro RX and World RX points this year. I can’t wait to get the season underway in Portugal.” Karlsson will be joined in at least three events by Henning Solberg who demonstrated the pace of the Eklund Saabs with some strong performances last year and is set to dovetail selected World RX outings with his occasional WRC events. Karlsson has also released a short video announcing her plans.

Lydden Hill played host to the first round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship which was joined by competitors from the Belgian Championship, finally getting their 2014 racing underway after the first round at Maasmechelen was cancelled last month. Belgian driver Koen Pauwels (Ford Focus) won the final from compatriot Jochen Coox (VW Scirocco). Triple British champion Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) struggled in the final with differential problems, but was able to hold off Kevin Procter in the final corners to seal the last step on the podium. Derek Tohill (Citroen DS3) and Krzysztof Skorupski (Citroen DS3) made their debuts for the LD Motorsports World RX Team and both made the final. Tohill retired in the first corner with suspension damage while Skorupski finished sixth. Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Evo) made his return to the Supercar category but suffered engine problems on day one. His team worked into the night to repair the engine for day two, only to miss out on a place in the final. The MSA SuperNational category was won by B final winner Stuart Emery (Peugeot 206) who took his joker on the first lap, avoiding contact between front row starters Michael Boak (Audi TT) and Mike Howlin (Ford Fiesta). Allan Tapscott (Vauxhall Corsa) finished second with Gary Dixon (Vauxhall Astra) third. Tristan Ovenden beat Graham Rodemark in the Swift Sport final after yet another close fight between the pair, while Charlie Bean claimed victory in the Junior Swift category. Super1600 was dominated by Belgian Dennis Remans. The RX150 ‘buggy’ class was a close run affair, 2013 champion Marc Scott beating rally-convert James Grint. Ray Morgan (Ford Escort) won the Retro Rallycross category and Craig Lomax (Citroen Saxo) claimed victory in HotHatch. The Belgian SuperNational +2000cc class was won by Kristof Bex (Volvo S40) ahead of Luc Maris (Volvo 242) while Guino Kenis debuted his BMW Z4 to finish third. Steven Stessens (Vauxhall Nova) won the SuperNational -2000cc from Johan Kwinten (BMW 320). TouringCar was won by Volvo C30 driver Jos Sterkens.

After winning in Loheac last year, Andreas Bakkerud let Fifth Gear drive his Liam Doran Motorsport Citroen DS3. The story of that is due to air on Fifth Gear in Norway later today, in the UK on April 7, Sweden on April 21 and Denmark on May 12. Here’s a little preview.

Britain’s World Rallycross event, Autosport Rallycross of Great Britain at Lydden Hill, is set to feature a Group B race and a separate static display of Group B cars as the Home of Rallycross tips its hat to the cars that produced a golden era of rallycross between 1987 and 1992. Genuine rallycross Group B machines will run on the track, four-time European champion Olle Arnesson making a rare appearance with his Audi Sport Quattro S1 and joined by a brace of MG Metro 6R4s in the hands of Rob Gibson and Lawrence Gibson, as well as a trio of RS200s. Pat Doran will bring his version while Nigel Mummery runs his ex-Gary Baker car and Stian Hafsengen drives the bewinged ex-Jan Arthur Iversen machine.

OlsbergsMSE has added Red Bull to its sponsorship roster, Lites champion Joni Wiman set to race a Fiesta Supercar in the 2014 GRC carrying the energy drink’s branding. “We’re the most winning team in the series history and with new faces and strong partners, we intend to continue that streak in 2014. I’m happy to welcome Red Bull to the team, as well as returning partners Ford and Bluebeam,” said team boss Andreas Eriksson.

Peugeot Sweden has confirmed that Timmy Hansen will drive one of Team Peugeot-Hansen two Peugeot 208 Supercars in the FIA World Rallycross Championship this year. “I’ve been waiting a long time for the pieces of the puzzle would fall into place and I’m relieved and happy that it is with Peugeot ,” said Hansen, whose team boss father, Kenneth said it was far from a foregone decision that his son would drive for the new team; “It was not certain that he would have a place in the team, or that he would choose to drive here, he had interest from other teams, but I’m happy that we have him.”

Chanoine Competition has revealed the new colours of the Renault Clio Supercar it will run fort Fabien Chanoine in the French championship. Fabien Grosset-Janin (Super1600) and Lucie Grosset-Janin (Renault Twingo) will also race with the Dreux-based Renault team.

French Division Four champion Jimmy Terpereau will switch to Super1600 this year and has acquired the ex-Laurent Chartrain Citroen Saxo KitCar for his move. “I have had a test with Chartrain and have confidence in the car which I chose because I know its performance,” said Terpereau who hopes to get into the top five of the immensely competitive class. Favourite for the class at the start of the year is Chartrain, and his Citroen C2.





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