It’s awards season and hot on the heels of the FIA gala in Doha, there was a surprise award for World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg at last weekend’s Autosport Awards in London. The Gregor Grant Trophy is awarded in recognition of lifetime achievement, and Solberg was this year’s recipient as the first driver ever to secure two FIA World Championship titles in different disciplines. Having won the World Rally Championship back in 2003, he doubled up with the World Rallycross Championship spoils 11 years later. Surprised to be given an award, Solberg made an emotional acceptance. “I had a fantastic career in rallying, and then I had the opportunity to do something different,” he said after receiving his trophy from Jenson Button. “Whatever I ended up doing, I knew I wanted to get out of the car with a big smile on my face – and when I tried World Rallycross for the first time, that’s exactly what I got! This car is really something special – 600bhp and 0-60mph in less than two seconds! I believe whatever you do in life you have to give it 100 per cent, because nothing happens unless you really want it. We had a big fight this year – really pushing the limit and extracting every last per cent. It was worth all the effort!”
The video series about Ford World RX driver Andreas Bakkerud continues with part two released this week, catch up with part one and make an appointment to catch the remaining episodes here.
In America Hyundai has withdrawn from motor sport, leaving rallycross driver Rhys Millen out of a drive for 2015 at this stage. “This is disappointing news to the team and myself as we proved we could win or produce the top three fastest times in each event at the last six rounds of competition. We had achieved victories in various disciplines of motor sport that we had partnered in the US over the years. This came as a real shock after Hyundai Korea had invested so much into supporting the same style of racing in the World Rally Championship. I am happy with what we achieved as a team and am thankful to those at Hyundai that supported the programme and believed in motor sports,” said Millen who has now placed his Veloster Supercars up for sale or rent.
British racers Michael Boak and Phil Chicken have teamed up and will field a pair of Citroen C2s in the Super1600 European Rallycross Championship next year. The cars will be built and run by Boak’s MB Motorsport company. Chicken continuing in the car he raced this year while Boak will put together a new car for his move into the category.
After a year running a Volvo C30 within what was essentially his own team, Tommy Rustad has moved to Marklund Motorsport for the 2015 FIA European Rallycross Championship season. “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity Marklund Motorsport and HTB Racing has given me to have even greater opportunities for success in the European Championship,” said Rustad. “Marklund Motorsport is one of the most professional teams in rallycross and they have helped to develop the VW Polo RX Supercar into a winning machine. Personally, this is my biggest rallycross commitment so far and I’m looking forward to testing the car and working together with Anton Marklund and Toomas Heikkinen.”
We regret to record the death of TouringCar racer Kjetil Tangen who died on December 10 from complications and injuries sustained in an accident at work. Tangen (37) dropped into the European Rallycross Championship this year driving a Fiesta owned by former racer Vidar Sauthon and proved immediately competitive, his best result coming in Norway where he placed fifth.
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