As the start of the World Rallycross season draws ever closer, more permanent entries to the European Rallycross Championship have been announced. Albatec Racing revealed the second driver in it’s two car Euro RX campaign; Britain James Grint joins Jerome Grosset-Janin at the outfit. Grint, a former British Rally driver and younger brother of Rupert Grint who played Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, competed in the RX150 category of the MSA British Rallycross Championship last season, and will graduate to the Supercar division for the European Championship. He will also race in selected rounds of the RX150 series. “I am very excited to be part of the Albatec Racing team this year. I’m looking forward to taking on the FIA European Rallycross Championship, and I can’t think of a better team than Albatec to take me into Europe for this new and exciting phase of my career,” said Grint.
Also racing a pair of 208s in the European Championship will be brothers Fabien and Jonathan Pailler for the Pailler Competition squad. Fabien, the older of the two, won the French Championship last season and feels now is the right time to set up. “I think our Euro RX programme is a logical step. It’s difficult for us to know where we will stand, and what our level of performance will be. We arrive in an environment that is new to us. For sure there will be some adaptation time. We saw last season that the level of competition has increased pretty quickly,” said the Frenchman. Jonathan Pailler moved to Supercar in 2014 as a frontrunner in the French Division Three category. He twice finished on the podium in Supercar last year, and will join Fabien on the Euro RX stage this season.
2014 European Champion Robin Larsson officially announced his move to World RX for the 2015 season, continuing as a single car entry with the Jernberg Larsson Racing Team, headed by experienced former drivers Michael Jernberg and Robin’s father, Lars. The team will continue with the Audi A1 it used last season, but with a revised engine from Swedish tuners Trollspeed. “Being in my own team is what keeps me motivated, I know it’s going to be tough with 13 races but I’ve been working very hard to find new sponsors and now everything is looking good for Portugal,” said Larsson. “We don’t have as much budget as some of the bigger teams but I hope we can show our speed in the first race.”
The Motor Sports Association and World RX promoters IMG have teamed up to launch an RX Talent search, that will take place on the Thursday before the fourth round of the World Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill, using three OlsbergsMSE provided RX Lites. UK competition licence holders between 18 and 30 are invited to enter a draw via the MSA website, from where 12 to 15 finalists will be chosen to drive at the event. Judged by former World Champion co-driver Robert Reid, World RX Managing Director Martin Anayi, OSME Team Principle Andreas Eriksson, 2013 British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan and Motorsport News’ Matt James, the winner will get a fully funded drive at the Turkish round of the RX Lites Cup. “An RX Talent search is something that has been on our radar for some time and thanks to the FirstCorner, OMSE and Lydden Hill, we’re now able to get this project off the ground in the UK. We believe that this is something we can roll out to other markets in the coming years as we continue to position rallycross as an attractive and affordable option for young drivers who are looking at a future career in motorsport,” said Anayi. Early Bird discounted tickets for the British World RX round on 23-25 May are available until the end of March on the Lydden Hill website. Find information here.
The second round of the Belgian Rallycross Championship took place at the revised World RX venue at Mettet. 2014 World RX campaigner Jos Jansen (Ford Focus) won the Supercar final on track, but was later excluded following a protest by Jochen Coox (Volkswagen Scirocco) about first corner contact. Victory was handed to Guy Moreton driving his French Division Three Citroen DS3 while Marcel Ottink (Skoda Fabia) finished second and Ronny Scheveneels (Volkswagen Scirocco) completed the podium. Former WRC and European Rallycross event winner Francois Duval raced at the event in another Division Three DS3, but retired with mechanical troubles in heat two and was out of the event. European Super1600 front-runner Ulrik Linnemann debuted his new-for-2015 Peugeot 208 but retired with two driveshaft failures, leaving Davy Van Den Branden (Citroen DS3) to claim victory. Martijn Vanhove (BMW E82) won SuperNational – and Kristof Bex (Volvo S40) again finished first in SuperNational +.
The first round of the Central European Zone Rallycross Championship ran at the Slovakia Ring, in the Slovak Republic. Rallycross convert Tamas Pal Kiss failed to make it past the second heat, his Skoda Fabia suffering engine failure. Tamas Karai (Skoda Fabia) won from Alois Holler (Ford Focus) and Zoltan Wiestz (Seat Leon). Zsolt Szijj (Suzuki Swift) won the Super1600 category while Roman Castoral (Opel Astra) claimed victory in SuperTouringCars -, Karl Schadenhofer (VW Golf) doing the same in SuperTouringCars +.
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