Enerberg plots European Rallycross return

by Hal Ridge |

Arguably one of the most competitive drivers to compete in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for TouringCar since the category’s inception in 2007, Lars Oivind Enerberg, is plotting a return next year with a brand new Ford Fiesta Mk7.

The former champion hasn’t contested a full season since his title-winning year in 2011, but did make selected appearances in the rear-drive category in 2012 and 2013, and twice won in Norway. Since, Enerberg has been competing in national rallies in his home country, and also made a one-off appearance for the Monster Energy World RX Team at the Istanbul Park in Turkey last year, but with limited success.

2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship Round 11 Istanbul Park, Turkey 11th & 12th October 2014 Worldwide Copyright: McKlein / IMG

The Norwegian recently attended the final round of the BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship at Croft in England, working for Habjorn Haug. On the day, his compatriot debuted a new Ford Puma (and won). Not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to progress his plans for next season, Enerberg transported Haug’s car to the UK and made a stop off at his engine builders in Suffolk, England en route.

“I was working for Habjorn at Croft. I drove the van with the car in the trailer from Norway. I went to my engine builders, Dunnell, with my old engine so they can get it ready for next season,” explained Enerberg. “I’ve done some rallying this year in the Norwegian championship, on gravel and snow using an old Volvo 242. I think our best result was fifth, which was quite ok. We didn’t have the best car but it was quite fun. But rally is not like rallycross, so we want to try some rallycross again.”

Enerberg and Derek Tohill were TouringCar front-runners and fierce rivals. ©RallycrossWorld.com/Tom Banks

Enerberg’s self-run team will build the new Fiesta. The former champion believes that the current structure of TouringCar rounds based largely in the north of Europe supporting World Championship events has aided his decision to return. When Enerberg last competed, victory sometimes meant beating just eight cars, and some of those were not front-running.

“We’ll try and do the full European Championship next year, and build the car ourselves. I think that’s the best way, then you get what you want. I think the way there are less events now is a really good idea. Now there are 20 cars per event, that’s better than ten events and eight cars each time. I really like that,” he says. “Belgium and Riga (Latvia) are new tracks for me, but Riga is new for everyone, which helps me. There is not so much traveling for us with this calendar, so that’s nice.”

Enerberg won his home round of Euro RX TouringCar in 2013. ©RallycrossWorld.com/Tom Banks

When Enerberg won the TouringCar title, he dominated, winning seven of the ten rounds. However, his success opened no doors to move up to Supercar. He has made one Supercar appearance since, but hopes that this time around, any success might help him race at the highest level. “It didn’t help (get a Supercar drive) last time I won the championship but maybe now it will with the sport getting bigger each day. I drove for Liam Doran’s team in Turkey last year. It was a great experience, but it didn’t work out. It was awesome to try a car like that; it has always been a dream to do that. For sure it was fun and hopefully I might get another chance someday.”

Enerberg says he isn’t feeling any pressure from anyone but himself to perform next year. “When I drive, I’m driving for winning. That’s how it is. There is no pressure.” Pressure or not, Enerberg will be hot favourite for the title next season if he can recreate his previous form and the new Fiesta is as good as his last.




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