FIA approves new electric plan. Gronholm goes to Hell and back. Finnish RX and more…

by Rallycross World |

14 June    The FIA World Motor Sport Council meets in Paris and among its business for the day approves  “The revised roadmap for the Electrification of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2021.” This follows the collapse of plans developed with manufacturers for an entirely new type of rallycross car to be introduced with electric powertrains that ran out time when no manufacturers registered for the propsoed series by the March deadline. World RX promoter IMG announced its Projekt E initiative immediately. The new FIA plan is similar to the Projekt E concept in that it is based on current chassis technology with a single-make powertrain and battery kit pitched to deliver cars of around 450kW (600bhp) and similar performance levels to the current Supercars. There will be a tender for the powertrain and battery supply. The tender also set to contain separate components covering an arrive and drive ‘Junior eRX’ series for four-wheel drive cars rated at 250kW, and the recharging system to cover both types of car.

15 June    The second round of the Finnish Rallycross Championship takes place at Joensuu where Juha Rytkonen (Fiesta) takes a narrow win over Jere Kalliokoski (Fiesta). Rytkonen wins by just over 0.5s and only after Kalliokoski completes two Joker Laps after false starting in the final. Riku Tahko (Mini) places third, 0.8s behind Kalliokoski. Kalliokoski leads the championship by six points over Rytkonen and Joni-Pekka Rajala. Henri Haapamaki (BMW M3) is best of the Supernational runners and Jari Koivistoinen (Escort) wins the Autocross category. Rajala again drives in all three classes and finishes fourth in Supercar before taking a pair of second place finishes in Supernational and Autocross.

16 June    In an extraordinary hour of racing at the end of a competitive weekend the fifth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship is tipped on its head by torrential rain that blew into the Lankebane at Hell as the semi-finals sat in pre-grid, and then by a couple of judicial decisions that handed the victory to Niclas Gronholm while he sat on a plane heading for home. The drama started ahead of the rain when Rokas Baciuska was disqualified from Q3 when it was discovered that the ALS position had been moved during the race. That changed the qualifying order and gifted Liam Doran (who’d qualified 13th) a place in the semi-finals. Doran won semi two while top qualifier Gronholm won semi one. In the dramatic semis the event lost Timerzyanov, Chicherit, Scheider, Timmy Hansen, Raymond and Bakkerud. And then there was the final…

After which Kevin Hansen was penalised by one-second for contact with Gronholm in the first lap. That made Gronholm second and Hansen third. Race winner Anton Marklund’s GCK Renault Megane was in post-race scrutineering meanwhile. When scrutineers reported to the stewards that the front bumper mounting did not comply with the regulations, Marklund was disqualified and Gronholm inherited the victory.

Robin Larsson collected his second straight European Supercar Championship victory, the JC Raceteknik Audi driver maintaining his composure in the difficult conditions and staving off the challenge of JB Dubourg (Peugeot 208) and Thomas Bryntesson (VW Polo) for the win.

Oliver Eriksson won yet again in RX2. The defending champ’s third win of the year came ahead of Ben-Philip Gundersen and Jesse Kallio.

19 June    French champion Atoine Masse will join the Titans RX field for the first event at Essay at the end of the month. Jerome Grosset-Janin will also drive in the event, replacing Stephane Sarrazin who has “unexpected time conflicts”.

Finally    For no better reason than a picture of Porsche in rallycross is always a Good Thing, here’s a fine shot from Toni Ollikainen in Finland of Mika Liimatainen in full flight at Joensuu.  

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