12 October The FIA World Rallycross Championship announces that it will visit Spa-Francorchamps in 2019 for the new Spa FIA World Rallycross of Benelux event. The date and track design for the event is yet to be announced but is expected to include the circuit’s landmark Eau Rouge corner. “The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is delighted to welcome the Benelux round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship next year. Rallycross is a new discipline for our circuit and fits perfectly with our strategy, which consists of welcoming major new events and new fans, while continuing to nurture our existing ones,” said Nathalie Maillet, CEO of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. World RX recently announced that it would be leaving Mettet, which has hosted the Belgian round of the championship since 2014.
14 October PSRX Volkswagen Sweden completes the defence of its FIA World Rallycross Championship Team title as Johan Kristoffersson sweeps to an unprecdented tenth event victory.
The Swedish team gets its second car into the final, but Petter Solberg is forced to stop in the fifth lap with a mechanical failure. The final has two starts, the first attempt halted after Kevin Hansen crashed heavily at turn five with three laps run. Kristoffersson passes Andreas Bakkerud to lead first run, and is in front from lights to flag in the restart. Mattias Ekstrom and Bakkerud complete the podium with the EKS Audis. Niclas Gronholm stars again for GRX Taneco, equalling his personal best result by finishing fourth.
The event also forms the last round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600. Volland Racing drivers Rokas Baciuska, Aydar Nuriev and Artis Baumanis start the event in the hunt for the title. Baumanis crashes out at the semi-final stage but Nuriev is top qualifier wins both his semi-final and the final. Baciuska fights hard in the first lap of the final, but settles for second place which is enough for him to take the title in his first full season.
16 October RX Academy winner Sami-Matti Trogen confirms that he will return to the RX2 series in 2019. The 16-year-old Finn – who is mentored by Matti Alamaki – will remain with Set Promotion iun 2019. “I’ve learned a lot in RX Academy this season – we’ve had different conditions at different tracks and I’ve learned a lot away from the track too. I’ve raced in RX2 this season and it’s a series I enjoy, but it will be much better to do it in the award car. I’m really looking forward to 2019,” he said. Trogen’s season in the RX Academy had a dramatic end with a big crash at Tierp.
17 October DA Racing announces that former French Autocross champion Romuald Delaunay will drive its Peugeot 208 in the final round of the French Rallycross Championship at Dreux this weekend. Delaunay previously raced in rallycross once at Dreux two years ago. The 2015 Maxi-Touring champion in French autocross, Delaunay has tested the car ahead of this year’s outing. He will be joined at DA Racing by Adeline Sangnier who will race the squad’s Citroen DS3.
17 October Dan Rooke enters the final round of the 2018 MSA British Rallycross Championship. The 2016 British champion will drive Ollie O’Donovan’s Ford Focus in the event at Silverstone. It will be his first Supercar drive since 2016.
18 October In an statement from its brand CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato,Peugeot announces its withdrawal from the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the end of the 2018 season. The strangely worded document focuses mainly on a forthcoming range of electric Peugeot cars and says: “After presenting its new generation of plug-in hybrid vehicles as part of its electrification strategy at the Paris Motor Show, Peugeot announces the development of a new range of electrified sports vehicles from 2020. Peugeot will concentrate its resources on developing these new vehicles and has therefore decided to withdraw from the WRX championship at the end of the 2018 season, whose evolution towards electrification is uncertain … The Peugeot brand has decided to focus on the development of these new vehicles, in a context where the uncertainty surrounding the evolution of the WRX thermal championship towards an electric mode by 2021 is a reality.”
October 18 Max Pucher launches GRC Europe in Vienna and says the new series is will “host races in classic Rallycross countries like England, Italy, Hungary, France, Germany, Austria or Slovakia. The inaugural season will run from May to October 2019”. The launch features a Supercar and also an example of the new Pantera RX6 one-make car that is said to be faster and cheaper than a current Supercar and which is to form the main category of the series.
18 October Belgian sportcar racer Enzo Ide, the 2016 Blancpain Sprint champion, is to make his competitive rallycross debut in the final round of the 2018 MSA British Rallycross Championship at Silverstone. Ide will drive one of the ex-EKS Audi S1 WRXs run by Comtoyou Racing. British World RX regular Oli Bennett is also on the 14-strong Supercar entry list in his Fiesta.
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