Block and Martin announce rallycross plans as Dubourg extends Andros Tophy lead

by Hal Ridge |

Arguably the biggest rallycross news of the week was that American star Ken Block will compete in a full FIA World Rallycross Championship campaign this year, backed by Ford. While being supported by the automotive giant, Block’s M-Sport built car will be run by his own team, Hoonigan Racing. “I’m stoked to be able to compete for an FIA World Rallycross title!” said Block, “I’ve really enjoyed my past six years racing with Ford and to renew my relationship with them moving forward, as well as receiving an increased level of involvement from Ford Performance, to compete for a World Rallycross Championship, well, I couldn’t be happier! For a big portion of my career I’ve maintained a mixed focus and kept a diverse race calendar, but now I’ll be focusing myself fully on one single championship. I’ve been stoked with what my team and I have accomplished so far with my Ford Fiesta ST racecars and I’m excited to see what we’ll be able to do next season with factory support. It’s going to be a very exciting 2016 and I can’t wait to get started.”

2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship Round 03 Hell, Norway 14th - 15th June 2014

Sharing the headlines with Block is the news that motorcycle road racing hero Guy Martin will race a rallycross Supercar in an MSA British Rallycross Championship event this season. Lorry mechanic, bike racer and television presenter Martin will race Ollie O’Donovan’s Ford Focus Supercar in the latter part of 2016, once TV commitments with Channel 4 are completed. That means that Martin is most likely to race at Lydden Hill, Pembrey or Croft. “It’s something different and that always excites me,” said Martin. “I’m looking forward to the challenge some time later in the year subject to other commitments.” Full story here. The Focus Martin will drive is on display at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, UK, this weekend (see below).

Guy Martin's name appears on the side of a rallycross car for the first time at the Autosport International. © Ridge

The FIA Off-Road Commission prize-giving ceremony was held in Jyvaskyla, Finland where rallycross legend Matti Alamaki presented awards. Petter Solberg was awarded the World RX title a second time having first received it at the FIA Awards Gala, and Susann Hansen collected the teams’ championship trophy. Tommy Rustad, Janis Baumanis and Fredrik Salsten claimed their trophies for winning the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar, Super1600 and TouringCar respectively, while the Norwegian round of World RX at Hell won best organised event of the year.

FIA World and European Rallycross winners were presented trophies in Finland. © Ollikainen

Jean-Phillipe Dayraut (Mazda 3) and Jean-Baptiste Duborug (Renault Clio) took a win apiece at the fourth round of the Andros Trophy ice racing series at Isola 2000. Duborug now leads the title race by over 40 points. On day one, Benjamin Riviere (Citroen DS3) finished second with Franck Lagorce (Dacia Lodgy) third. On the second day, Dubourg was joined on the podium by his younger brother, Andrea, who finished third. Toomas Heikkinen (Mazda 3) was tenth and sixth over the to days.

Dubourg won again and has a healthy Andros Trophy advantage. © Racing

As he did in 2014, World RX champion Petter Solberg is entertaining motorsport fans at the Autosport International show in the UK, both in the Live Action Arena in his ‘breathed on’ Citroen Xsara, and on the Autosport stage, where, interviewed by Henry Hope Frost, the Norwegian is telling his own special brand of amusing stories. Many drivers, engineers and team members from the rallycross world were present over the opening two ‘trade’ days of the show, from world championship to clubman level. Liam Doran is displaying a pair of Citroen DS3 Supercars on the Alcon and iON stands, while the MSA British Rallycross Championship is being promoted on a stand that includes the Ford Focus Supercar that Guy Martin will race in a British Rallycross event this year, an RX150 Buggy, a pair of Julian Godfrey Engineering engines and an SGS Racing Transmissions gearbox. Further rallycross cars will be on display over Saturday and Sunday of the event, in the Oval racing section.

Liam Doran has two cars on display at the Autosport International. © Ridge

Finnish driver Riku Tahko has been confirmed on the official World RX website that he will campaign in a full Euro RX season at the wheel of his Mini Supercar. He is targeting regular final appearances.

Irishman Tommy Graham will race in a full BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship this season in his Ford Escort MkII, “I want to race in the BTRDA Championship and take the trophy over the Irish Sea again,” said Graham. The BTRDA overall rallycross title has been claimed by an Irish driver in the last two years; Kieran Curran won the crown in 2014 and John Ward claimed the crown last season.

Tommy Graham will race in the BTRDA Clubmans Championship this season. © Ridge

Alongside the clubman Supercar category, the BTRDA Clubmans Championship will also include a Production four-wheel drive category. Two cars are already confirmed to take part, driven by Ian Shelley and Leanne Richardson.




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