Maloigne in France. Villagra wins CARX. Ekstrom back in World RX. Bigham gets ARX Beetle. IndyCar Karam in ARX2.

Seven days in rallycross 18 April

by Rallycross World |

14 April The first round of the Dutch Rallycross Championship takes place at the Eurocircuit at Valkenswaard. Belgian Steve Volders continues his pre-season RX2 learning and is the only four-wheel drive car present. Racing with the Supernationals in the qualifying races, he drives alone in a final. Also testing before World RX in Barcelona, Volland Racing’s Yury Belivskiy (Audi A1) wins the Super1600 class ahead of Yves Teelen (Peugeot 208). The Supernational classes are won by Ron Snoeck (Volvo C30) and Kristof Bex (Volvo S40) who leads home Steven Maris and Stefan Vaesen in the over two-litre section.

14 AprilThe nine-round French Rallycross Championship begins at Lessay where Philippe Maloigne (Renault Clio) opens the year with victory. Driving a G-Fors car, Maloigne was behind Samuel Peu (Peugeot 208) and Fabien Chanoine (Clio) for most of the day but beat both at the start of the final. Peu recovered to place second with Laurent Bouliou (Peugeot 208) third from Chanoine. Yvonnick Jagu (Skoda Fabia) starts the defence of his Super1600 title with victory ahead of Jimmy Terpereau (Citroen C2) and David Moulin (Dacia Sandero). Christophe Lortie wins the Twingo Cup final while Xavier Briffaud (Mini) and Xavier Goubill (Peugeot 306) win in Division Three and Four.

14 April The new CARX season begins in Argentina with Federico Villagra (Fiesta) picking up where he left off last year to take the win ahead of Marcos Ligato and Alonso Etchebest.

16 April JC Raceteknik announces that it will run a pair of Audi S1 Supercars for Mattias Ekstrom and Enzo Ide in World RX of Benelux at Spa-Francorchamps in May. 2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion Ekstrom will drive his old title winning car. “Being on the sofa at home watching Abu Dhabi I started to imagine racing again and going through Eau Rouge at 200km sideways. It started to become very tempting. I asked Joel [Christoffersson] if he was interested that I could use my old championship-winning car. If that wouldn’t have been the case I think I wouldn’t have done it. It will be nice to just to go to do a race for fun and enjoy it, because when you do a sport at factory level you have responsibility and you’re obliged to a lot. When you go there for the enjoyment, still for the fans and to put on a good show, for sure I will want to win the race no discussion, but it’s way different to do a wildcard entry versus a full championship. On the one side it’s a big pleasure to race, but also to share a bit of experience with someone who’s starting a new chapter. I would like to give my experience to Joel and his team that they can have a good start with the cars. I really love that car and always did. I will enjoy driving it to the limit like I always did, if that’s fast enough then we will go and pick up the trophy, if not then we will just smile,” said Ekstrom. Ide, the 2016 Blancpain GT Sprint Cup champion, will drive an ex-EKS car that he owns but has not yet raced.

16 April Olsbergs MSE reveals a roster of eight driver who will race its cars in 2019. In RX2 Oliver Eriksson will return to defend his title and will be partnered by Finn Jesse Kallio and Jamaican Fraser McConnell who made his mark in ARX2 in 2018. Eriksson will also race a Supercar in RallyX Nordic where he will be joined in the team by Date Ulrik Linnemann. Linus Ostlund and Niklas Aneklev will race RX2/Supercar Lites in RallyX Nordic and Sebastian Eriksson is also named in the squad but without a nominated car. The team says it will add a further Supercar later. It’s not clear whether OMSE will run its Ford Fiesta or Honda Civic Supercars.

16 April Frenchman Damien Meunier joins the RX2 series for a full season with Team Faren. The 18-year-old  has completed just two years in rallycross and is eager to make the move to international competition. “After just two seasons in rallycross, I’m thrilled to be joining RX2 this year. I’ve been looking at RX2 for a while now – ever since the extremely positive test we had at Strangnas in Sweden during the Supercar Lites sampler day in 2017 – and now we are here!” he said. The RX2 season begins in Barcelona next weekend.

17 April Andretti Rallycross announces its driver lineup for the 2019 ARX season  with ARX2 graduate Cabot Bigham joining Tanner Foust in the two-car team of VW Beetles. The team will be supported by Volkswagen R. “Working with Andretti is going to be massive. It’s a huge opportunity for me, specifically because of the amount of power, dedication, and momentum that they have amassed throughout the past four years of winning rallycross races,” said Bigham. “Being able to align myself with this team and see what they can do in the future, is not only very exciting for me but an amazing opportunity to advance my career and eventually obtain an Americas Rallycross championship.” Foust is entering his sixth season with Andretti.
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18 AprilMJP Promotions announces that its new for 2019 championship will now be known as Titans RX, “…renamed from GRC Europe … in accordance with FIA requirements.” The championship will now be focused around the new single-make Pantera RX6 car with event programmes adding local support classes. There will now not be any Supercars in the events. There will six weekends of racing with an event each day to form a 12-round series. The championship starts at Dreux on 29-30 June. The series has also appointed Ari Vatanen as Titans RX Ambassador.

18 April IndyCar and GT racer Sage Karam will race in ARX2 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing at Mid Ohio and Gateway. Karam won the USF2000 series in 2010 and was IndyLights champion in 2013 before placing ninth in the 2014 Indy 500 (after starting 31st). “I am very excited to jump into the ARX2 class at Mid-Ohio and Gateway in June and July. I tested the car last year, but the dirt component is completely new to me. I have only raced on pavement throughout my career, so getting onto the dirt side will be a learning process. Overall the ARX series looks to be a blast and I can’t wait to test the DRR race car soon. And then drive the WIX Filters/ISMI Springs machine at the races,” said.

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