World RX set for electric introduction; Maloigne and Godfrey victorious

Seven days in rallycross, August 5

by Hal Ridge |

Electric technology is set be introduced into the World Rallycross Championship structure from as early as 2020, World RX Managing Director Paul Bellamy revealed to British publication Motorsport News this week. Bellamy explained that World RX promotor IMG is working with a number of manufacturers and the FIA on how electric cars will be included in the series in the future, but explained that conventional internal combustion and electrically powered vehicles wouldn’t run together on track, and the existing Supercar category would remain. “It will be 2020 at the earliest [before electric rallycross will be introduced] but we’re in discussions about what format the concept might take, what the cars will be like and where it will sit in the World RX weekend,” he said.

Last weekend, Philippe Maloigne (Peugeot 208) won the fifth round of the French Rallycross Championship at Kerlabo, the first win of the year for the Albatec Racing team, while Jonathan Pailler and Florent Beduneau made it a Peugeot 208 podium lock-out. Guerlain Chicherit (Renault Clio) was fourth, with British driver Andy Scott (Peugeot 208) fifth on his first Supercar start of the season in a rain hit final. Beduneau’s result closed the gap to series leader Fabien Pailler (Peugeot 208). Rallycross legend Jean-Luc Pailler (Peugeot 208) made his return to the sport and qualified for the semi-finals in a third Pailler Competition 208. Super1600 points leader Samual Peu (Citroen Saxo) won the front-wheel drive final, after retiring from Q2 with transmission issues. Maximilien Eveno (Citroen C2) was second and Damien Meunier (Citroen C2) completed the podium. The top two drivers in the Division Three championship finished first and second in the final, Christophe Saunois (Toyota Corolla) beating Xavier Briffaud (Mini Cooper) and Gregory Le Guerneve (Peugeot 208). In the Division Four final, it was also the championship’s top-two at the top of the final. Stephane Hameau (Peugeot 306) claimed victory from Florian Zavattin (Renault Clio) and Anthony Paillardon (Peugeot 206). Allan Mottais won in the Twingo R1 Cup division.

World RX Team Austria owner Max Pucher (Ford Fiesta) won the sixth round of the FIA Central European Zone Rallycross Championship at Sedlcany in the Czech Republic to extend his lead in the series. Fellow Austrian Alois Holler (Ford Focus) was second with Czech driver Marek Joura (Mitsubishi Evo) completing the podium. Mandie August (Audi S1) finished fourth in the four-car Supercar field.

A week earlier, Five-time British Rallycross Champion Julian Godfrey (Ford Fiesta) claimed a pair of wins on the series’ double-header visit to Mondello Park in Ireland to move into the lead of the championship with four rounds remaining. Godfrey didn’t set a fastest time across the two days in the qualifying races, but was at the sharp end when it counted to score a brace of victories. Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta) twice qualified top at the Intermediate Classification and finished second on day one, but rolled out of the event in the semi-finals on day two. Oliver Bennett (Ford Fiesta) led the series heading into Mondello in his first year in the sport, and led the final for much of the duration on Sunday before finishing second to Godfrey. Derek Tohill (Ford Fiesta) twice finished third in the British-Irish joint event, before winning the Superfinal on both days to take top Irish honours and extend his series lead.

Tony Lynch (Ford KA) and Tristan Ovenden (Renault Clio) both took their first wins of the year in the MSA Supernational Rallycross Championship finals, while Paul Coney (Vauxhall Corsa) again won on both days in the Super1600 / BMW Mini division, while David Bell (BMW Mini) and Drew Bellerby (BMW Mini) each took a maximum score of the BMW Mini runners. Ole Henry Steinsholt (Suzuki Swift) won his first event in the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship in round four on the Saturday, before Tom Llewellin (Suzuki Swift) returned to winning ways on the Sunday. Rob Shield claimed his first victory in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship on Saturday, and backed it up with another win on Sunday. In the RX150 buggy class, Marc Scott and Chrissy Palmer took a win apiece. In the Irish Rallycross Championship production category, Ciaran Murphy (Peugeot 106) and Keith Kerrshaaw (Peugeot 106) both won, while Eoin Murray (Ford Fiesta) and Niall Murray (Ford Fiesta) both took a win and a second place each in the single-make Fiesta class over the two days. Martin McAteer won twice in the poorly-supported IRX buggy division. Danny Calnan (Opel Corsa) and Patrick Donoghue (Peugeot 205) took a win apiece in the IRX Rally class, as Jyles Harding (Nissan Micra) and Jack Byrne (Ford Fiesta) each won an IRX Junior final.

Kristof Bex (Volvo S40) claimed victory in the latest round of the Belgian Rallycross Championship at Maasmechelen, winning the Supernational+ final ahead of Bert Bosmans (Volvo C30) and Luc Maris (Volvo S40). Bex’s fastest time of the day bettered the quickest time set by Supercar racer Jos Jansen at an earlier round, and extended his lead in the series. Steve Volders (Ford Fiesta) won the Supernational- final from Danny De Beuckelaer (Volvo C30) and Kurt Lambers (BMW M3). Steve Otzer (Citroen Saxo) won the Super1600 final from reigning champion Dennis Remans (Ford Fiesta) and Davy Van Den Branden (Citroen DS3). The Autodis team won the SsangYong final and British Championship regular Todd Crooks won the guest annual Minicross race from Richard and Shelly Wakeling. There were again no Supercars starters in the event.

Former BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Production racer Fred Ling, son of former Supermodified front-runner Dave Ling, will debut a new front-wheel drive Ford Fiesta in the Supermodified category this weekend in the series’ second Pembrey double-header of the year, powered by a 2000cc natural aspirated Duratec engine, while Junior circuit-racer Ross Connolly will switch from the Junior Saloon Car Championship to rallycross for the remaining four rounds of the Clubmans Championship, starting at Pembrey this weekend. The 16-year old Essex-based driver, who conducted work experience with Supercar squad Albatec Racing last year, already has experience of competing on unsealed surfaces, having previously raced in autograss. Connolly will make his rallycross debut driving a Peugeot 106 Rallye in the Junior category. The Extreme 22 squad plans to run three cars later in the season, with a Peugeot 106 GTI Production specification machine and Production 4×4 Nissan Pulsar also set to be run for yet to be confirmed drivers.

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