28 June The 50th Supercar Lites is delivered to Johnny Andersson. The car had been assembled in the paddock at Holjes on the eve of World RX of Sweden as a publicity stunt, and then given a couple of shake down laps by Sebastian Eriksson.
29 June EKS announces that Pierre Sjodell will be its new CEO from 1 July. Sjodell has looked after finance and personnel at the Swedish team for almost a year and takes over the CEO role from Klas Boman (left below with Mattias Ekstrom) who held the position from team’s foundation in 2014.
29 June JC Raceteknik becomes the biggest team in the World RX paddock when it fields nine cars at Holjes. The Swedish team has seven cars in RX2 and a pair of Ford Fiestas in Euro Supercar. Thomas Bryntesson and Henrik Krogstad are the most successful drivers, finishing second in Euro Supercar and RX2 respectively.
29 June Team Peugeot Total introduces new cars for Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen. The new 208 WRXs have chassis and suspension upgrades. The engines for the new cars are now prepared in-house at Peugeot Sport (they were previously supplied by Oreca). Peugeot’s individual World Championship entry, Kevin Hansen moves to the car his older brother raced in the first event of 2018 in Barcelona and the squad’s associated entry in Euro Supercar, Cyril Raymond, gets the car Hansen minor started the year in.
29 June Fast becoming the source of some of the funniest social media content in the World RX paddock, EKS got horny on Happy Street at Holjes…
1 July Johan Kristoffersson bags his fifth World RX victory of the year at Holjes in Sweden, which attracts a record crowd of 51,600. The PSRX Volkswagen Sweden driver leads the final from the start and is unchallenged. Andreas Bakkerud takes second place for EKS Audi Sport, passing Team Peugeot Total’s Timmy Hansen in the last lap. Hansen does not make it to the finish, going off the road after an incident with Mattias Ekstrom for which the EKS Audi Sport driver is relegated to sixth place (having been third on the road). Ekstrom also receives a reprimand for pushing Bakkerud during the final. Ekstrom’s demotion means that Jerome Grosset-Janin takes a personal best third place and achieves the first podium finish for GC Kompetition. Kevin Hansen makes it to the final but retires after one lap an is classified fifth, behind his brother.
The event also forms the third round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar, Reinis Nitiss (Fiesta) takes his second win of the year. Nitiss had led but was passed by Cyril Raymond (Peugeot 208) entering the last corner on lap five. The Stewards later penalised Raymond, adding five-seconds to his race time for ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour’ during his pass. Raymond dropped to fourth place, Nitiss joined on the podium by Thomas Bryntesson (Fiesta) and Lukas Walfridson (Renault Clio).
The first champion of the year is crowned in the third and final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for TouringCar where Sivert Svardal (Mazda RX8) finishes second in a closely fought final to take the title by a single point over race winner Fredrik Magnussen (Fiesta). The event is the last for TouringCar as an FIA championship category. It seems certain that the class will be adopted by RallyX Nordic in 2019.
The RX2 championship also runs at Holjes where Belgian Guillaume De Ridder takes his second successive victory. Henrik Krogstad and Simon Olofsson join De Ridder on the podium. The category has a record 29-strong entry, including American Christian Brooks (below) who impresses in his first event outside the US and finishes sixth.
1 July Lavare hosts the fifth round of the French Rallycross Championship where Antoine Masse (Peugeot 208) takes his first championship win. In the lead battle at every event this year, Masse finally landed his maiden victory on home ground but had to work hard for the win. Guesting in a Citroen DS3 owned by “Knapick” Citroen driver and former Junior World Rally Champion Stephane Lefebvre (below) set the pace in the event.
Masse and Lefebvre won a semi-final each, but Masse took the advantage and led the final from the start while Lefebvre slipped to fourth before fighting back to chase Masse to the chequer. After the race, Lefebvre was penalised five-seconds, and dropped to third place, for an aggressive pass on Samuel Peu. The victory, and absence of points leader Guerlain Chicherit, propelled Masse into the championship lead. Jimmy Terpereau (Citroen C2) beat Yvonnick Jagu (Skoda Fabia) to the Super1600 victory and Emmanuel Danveau took his third win of the year in the Twingo Cup.
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