Cost cutting regulations for World RX; Bakkerud for Andros Trophy

Seven days in rallycross, December 16

by Hal Ridge |

World Rallycross Championship front-runner Andreas Bakkerud will make his Andros Trophy debut this weekend at the third round of the series in Andorra, as team mate to double ice racing champion Jean-Baptiste Dubourg in the DA Racing squad. Bakkerud will race the team’s second new Renault Captur, driven so far this winter by Andrea Dubourg and Nicholas Prost. “I’ve been looking at doing it for many years, but never really had the time and possibility, so a big thanks to JB Dubourg and DA Racing for the chance to finally take part in this legendary series that so many well-known drivers have done before,” said the Norwegian. “Snow and ice are typical Scandinavian conditions, but I have never been the ‘totally sideways’ driver, so it will for sure give me a lot to learn. I have absolutely no expectation for the results, but if I learn and at the same time have a great time – it’ll be just perfect for me.”

The second round of the Andros Trophy series took place at L’Alpe d’Huez last weekend, where Audi A1 driver Nathanael Bethon and former F1 racer Franck Lagorce each claimed victory to move up the championship order. BMW M2 driver Lagorce climbed to third, just five points behind second placed Jean-Baptiste Dubourg after the World Rallycross driver was slowed on the second day of competition by damaged sustained to his car while Christophe Joet was racing in the Elite category. Elite Pro racer Dubourg had finished third on day one to take the series lead, as round one points leader Benjamin Riviere finished fifth. The Peugeot 3008 driver then retook the advantage with a podium finish in the second event, as Berthon finished second to Lagorce to score his second podium of the weekend. Results here.

The FIA and World Rallycross Promoter IMG have introduced a range of cost cutting measures to the series for 2018. Approved at the World Motor Sport council on December 6, the number of engines permitted to be used in the season has been reduced from three to two, while turbo chargers have gone from six to four. 12 new wet and dry tyres can now be registered at rounds one and two, and eight at each event thereafter, while four ‘used’ tyres can be registered to use in practices from round three. World RX Supercars will also have a Technical Declaration form to accompany the technical passport, which will restrict in-season developments in a number of areas. The make, model and location of the gearbox must now be declared, along with clarification as to whether a centre differential is used. The declared transmission specification will be locked for the year. Two sets of gear ratios will be allowed, and brakes will also be to a declared specification. The rear aerodynamic device [rear wing] will also be a set specification for the year.

Testing will also be restricted. Permanent World RX entrants will only be allowed to test at World RX venues, once entry for the championship has closed on March 1 2018, at three official test sessions. The first will be Loheac in France then Silverstone in the UK in March, and a mid-season test at Riga in Latvia. There are no restrictions on testing at non-World RX circuits. Non-permanent competitors will continue to be able to test at World RX tracks, up to 56 days before the race weekend, as has been the case for all compeitiors in 2017.

FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson collected his winners’ trophy at the FIA Awards Gala, held in the Chateau de Versailles in Paris last weekend. As Team Principal of Teams’ Champions PSRX Volkswagen Sweden, Pernilla Solberg collected the Teams’ trophy, while Mattias Ekstrom and Petter Solberg also attended at the prestigious ceremony to collect second and third placed trophies for the Drivers’ championship.

Just days later, also in the French capital, RX2 Champion Cyril Raymond picked up the coveted Golden Wheel award at the French ASN’s award ceremony, the first rallycross driver to do so. “It’s a huge honour to win this. Only the ‘legend’ drivers win this prestigious trophy and I’m so happy for the rallycross too. It was sensational to be on the podium with drivers like Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon and Seb Ogier. This is a huge award for my personal career and for French rallycross,” Raymond told the World RX website. “The French Federation always talked about Formula One and rally, but rallycross is beginning to become very important in France and around the world.”

« »