Lautamaki in Finland, Linnemann’s Nordic win, Civic approved, Electric paused, Volders is Euro champ!

Seven days in rallycross, 17 August

by Rallycross World |

11 August Jukka Lautamaki wins the penultimate round of the Finnish Rallycross Championship at Jalasjarvi in a Skoda Fabia Supercar, beating the BMW Mini of former European rallycross racer Riku Tahko, who took an early joker lap in the final. Twice fastest in qualifying, Tahko is second in the final to elevate him to the top of the standings with one round remaining. In an ex-Eklund Motorsport Saab 93, Mikko Ikonen completes the podium. Ari-Pekka Niemi has an exuberant run to fourth in the final in his ex-Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta. Henri Haapamaki wins the Supernational final in a BMW M3 ahead of diverse rallycross driver Joni-Pekka Rajala in a Ford Escort. Juha Rytkonen wins the Autocrossi final in his wankel-engined Toyota Starlet.

11 August Running alongside the Finnish Championship event, Sami-Matti Trogen wins the third round of RX Academy that uses single-make Renault Clio RS RX machines. Trogen fights back from spinning in Q2 after contact with Oskar Leitgeber before taking maximum points from the event and the championship lead. Leitgeber finishes second having started on the back row of the semi-finals, while Estonian Marko Muru completes the podium.

11 August The sixth round of the Estonian Rallycross Championship is held at Vasalemma. Roland Murakas (Fiesta) is the surprise winner after points leader Andri Oun (Fiesta) and closest rival Raini Roomets (Skoda Fabia) both run into problems, Oun retiring in the qualifiers and Roomets out after one lap of the final. Seido Nommkula and Ain Laiverik (both Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) are second and third. Oun now leads Roomets by just two points going into the final round. Super1600 is won by Jano Ois (Honda Civic), TouringCar is won by Andras Karu (Fiesta) and Crosskart is topped by Reinis Nitiss who takes a significant victory for one of the new FIA-spec Cross Cars from Kamikaz.

11 August German Championship racers get a weekend off as round five, scheduled to take place at Schluchtern, is postponed because of the risk of forest fires. The event has been rescheduled for 29-30 September.

12 August The fourth round of the Dutch Championship is run at the Eurocircuit at Valkenswaard where Belgian Kristof Bex (Volvo S40) is the winner. Steve Otzer (Citroen Saxo) claims another Super1600 victory and George Edwardes repeats his win of the previous weekend at Maasmechelen to win the visiting Minicross final.

12 August Ulrik Linnemann wins his home round of RallyX Nordic after a dramatic final in which Oliver Eriksson crossed the finish line first. The Swede was then given a penalty for hitting a course marker in the joker lap section and demoted to second, ahead of compatriot Philip Gehrman in an Eklund Motorsport Volkswagen Beetle. Reigning champion Thomas Bryntesson spins after contact with Eriksson in the final and finishes fourth, ahead of double 2018 winner Oliver Solberg. The pair are now tied at the head of the standings. Ola Froshaug fails to finish the final. Sondre Evjen wins the Supercar Lites final from JC Raceteknik team mate Ben-Philip Gundersen and Swede Simon Olofsson. Former FIA European Rallycross for TouringCar Champion Daniel Lundh wins the Super Touring RXN final.

14 August Olsbergs MSE confirms that its Honda Civic Coupe has been accepted by the FIA as a ‘non-homologated car eligible for rallycross’. The classification allows for a mass-produced car that is available to the public through a dealer network to be accepted for use in rallycross even if the manufacturer has not homologated the car. The OMSE Hondas were used in GRC last year but have not been run in competition in 2018, although one was run alongside the new Fiesta during the official World RX test at Loheac in March. There are no firm plans to race the cars but they are being revised to accept the recent engine change seen on the World RX Fiestas, OMSE having switched from Mountune to Trollspeed for engines. “We’re working on engines a lot, we’ve had a few problems that we needed to get on top of. Exactly what we’re doing with the Honda going forward we haven’t decided yet, but we will make sure they are ready and competitive. Honda wants to do something, they didn’t stop rallycross because they didn’t like it, they stopped because it wasn’t making sense because of different happenings. They are still very keen to do it, it fits their market,” said OMSE boss Andreas Eriksson.

15 August ES Motorsport announced the conclusion of a successful first test of its new Skoda Fabia Supercar. The new team, owned by former Super1600 regular Ernestas Staponkus, will be the first to use a Fabia for a full time World RX programme, which it is working towards for 2019. Former French championship star Christophe Vaison did the driving in the first test. An announcement about a high profile driver is expected soon.

15 August Subaru Rally Team USA publishes episode five of its Launch Control series which focuses in the recent ARX event at COTA.


16 August The FIA and IMG announce that the planned introduction of electric cars to the FIA World Rallycross Championship will be delayed until 2021 to give interested manufacturers time to enter the championship. “We are on the verge of an exciting new era for motorsport. Electric cars are increasingly important to all areas of mobility, and rallycross is the perfect platform to demonstrate the incredible performance capabilities of electric cars in a fun, competitive and cost effective environment,” said Paul Bellamy, Senior Vice President, Motorsports at IMG. “A huge amount has been accomplished in a relatively short time since the first formal meeting in June 2017. A completely new type of rallycross car has been conceived and defined, and so it is worth waiting a little longer to secure the best possible field of competitors. We believe that fans new and old will love what will be a thrilling addition to their favourite events.” Entrants in the championship will be given the chance to demonstrate the 2021 cars at some events during the 2020 season. The current Supercars will remain in use in 2019 and 2020 and beyond that as electric is added to events.

16 August the FIA European Rallycross Championship for TouringCars gets a new champion after the FIA confirms that three drivers, including ‘champion’ Sivert Svardal, have been disqualified from the Swedish round of the championship. Svardal, Ole Morten Tangen and Kenneth Johansen were disqualified after failing fuel checks, the analysis of samples proving the fuel did not comply with the regulations. The recalculation of results handed the championship title to Belgian Steve Volders, who had led the scoring entering the final round of the series. Fredrik Magnussen, the winner in Sweden, becomes second in the championship, one point behind Volders and one point ahead of third placed Daniel Holten.


17 August RX2 announces its annual open test day will take place at Tierp in Sweden on 8 October. Olsbergs MSE, JC Raceteknik and Team Faren will be on hand to provide testing opportunities. The day cost €400 and offers two on-track sessions with tuition. Tierp, 130km north of Stockholm, is Sweden’s newest rallycross track and will host the RallyX Nordic final on 6-7 October. An effective taster for the one-make series, the test day has previously introduced future stars – Cyril Raymond first drove an RX2 car at the 2014 test day in Istanbul (below).

Pics: Tonigraphs / RX Academy / RallyX Nordic / Johan Dingenen / / RX2 /


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