Kiss and Scott claim Easter rallycross spoils
by Hal Ridge |
Former GP3 race winner Tamas Pal Kiss claimed his maiden rallycross victory last weekend, at the second round of the Hungarian Rallycross Championship. Driving a Skoda Fabia Supercar the 23 year-old topped the order after the heats, won his semi-final and the final to earn his first win. Rival Tamas Karai (Skoda Fabia) retired with technical troubles, while Alois Holler (Ford Focus) and Janko Wieszt (Seat Leon) joined Kiss on the podium. “I think this Easter will stay in my memory for a long time. Before the weekend I dreamed about a podium finish, but this victory was a suprise for me. Since my switch from open-wheel racing to rallycross, I’ve been working as hard as I can to become a great rallycross driver who can represent his country in the greatest stages,” said Kiss.
In Britain, Lydden Hill was the venue for the traditional Bank Holiday Monday British Rallycross Championship event, where Albatec Racing man Andy Scott (Peugeot 208) claimed his second victory of the season. Champion Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) had qualified on pole position for the final, and following three re-starts due to first corner incidents, Godfrey led the whole race until the final lap when he suffered rear suspension problems, allowing Scott into the lead. Steve Harris (Citroen DS3) finished third. Front row starter Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Focus) retired with turbo failure while Mark Flaherty was forced out after twice visiting the first corner barrier. Andy Grant (Ford Focus) and Steve Mundy (Ford Focus) both had good events to finish fourth and fifth respectively. Rising star Daniel Rooke won the SuperNational category in his Citroen AX, beating far more experienced rivals, while Tristan Ovenden claimed victory in the Suzuki Swift category. Mike Jones made his Super1600 debut at the event and won in his Suzuki Swift, with Tomas Weilgosz (Peugeot 106) taking victory in Hot Hatch. Drew Bellerby won the Junior Swift division and Marc Scott got back to winning ways in the RX150 category. Rob Gibson returned in his MG Metro 6R4 and won Retro Rallycross.
Team Peugeot-Hansen has announced it’s 2015 driver line-up. The Swedish-French team will retain Swede Timmy Hansen for his third full rallycross season, who will be joined by Frenchman Davy Jeanney. The team revealed its drivers and revised Peugeot 208 in Paris. “This is my first contract with a factory team, so it’s a significant turning point in my career,” said new signing, Jeanney. “It’s a new challenge and I couldn’t be more committed to the programme. The cards are stacked up nicely and it will be up to me to make the most of them.” Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin has high hopes for the season ahead. “Last year’s car was derived directly from the 208 T16. This time, we used the winter break to take it a little closer to the limits authorised by the regulations and we believe the result is a significant step forward in terms of performance. The aim is to win individual races and also be in contention for the Teams’ and Drivers’ titles. Other teams no doubt have the same objective and we are delighted that other manufacturers are stepping up their involvement in this fast-growing championship.” he said.
Former DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom has also stated his intent for the season ahead, and will drive for his own EKS RX team alongside Anton Marklund. Ekstrom will also race full-time in the DTM in a busy schedule. “You know that I’m a person who doesn’t give up easily. My whole life has been a competition. The beginning of 2015 is no exception. So far the challenge has been to bring it all together for the season. One might believe everything would be easier this time around, compared to last year when we had nothing ready. I thought so too, but with everything we want to develop and improve, it has shown that the challenge is not less than before. Now we know. Registration for the FIA World Rallycross Championship 2015 is submitted and our aim from the start – it still holds true. We want to win. Both on and off the track. I’ll drive enough races to become world champion in the RX, as a driver and team owner. And I really want it,” said the Swede.
World Rallycross Championship promoter IMG has released a list of the eight permanent teams that will race full-time in the championship this season. Of those announced, Toomas Heikkinen and PG Andersson line up for Marklund Motorsport, Manfred Stohl and Max Pucher for RX Team Austria, Johan Kristoffersson and Tord Linnerud for Volkswagen Team Sweden, Mattias Ekstrom and Anton Marklund for EKS RX and Timmy Hansen and Davy Jeanney for Team Peugoet-Hansen. Petter Solberg is so far the only driver announced in his own SDRX team while ALL-INKL.com Munnich Motorsport and Ford OlsbergsMSE are also yet to announce their drivers. Robin Larsson will race as one of two permanent individual entries.
Having bought Prodrive’s Mini RX machines at the end of last year, JRM Racing has announced that it will compete in a select-event programme in the World Rallycross Championship this season, but is yet to announce who will drive the cars. “We’ve studied the development and growth of World RX closely since the series was launched in 2014 and we believe it has a very exciting future. We want to be winning races in World RX but we recognise that it will take some time to achieve that goal. In 2016, we intend to run a full season and challenge for world championships,” said JRM executive director, James Rumsey.
The Eurocircuit in Holland has been undergoing start line improvements, the circuits owners making changes to the jump start system and surface as the first of a number of planned improvements for the venue.
Three Subaru drivers have committed to the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship Supercar category. 2014 champion Simon Horton will be joined by Gary Pusey and Kevin McCann in the series, for which rounds two and three take place at Pembrey in June.
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