This week Gradually over the last week most ASNs have acted to stop motor sport activity in reaction to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. The specific conditions of the shut down varies in different territories, some ASN’s simply observing government bans on public events, others actively suspending permission for events to take place, but immediately it seems certain that there will be very little, if any, motor sport in the next few weeks.
12 March TitansRX post a short statement on its Facebook page to announce that it will reschedule all of its 2020 activities “…due to the Coronavirus panic…”. On 18 March it follows up with a further Facebook post to say: “Due to the political and economic consequences of the Covid-19 hysteria we have been forced to suspend all operations and preparations for the TitansRX 2020 season. We are taking all precautions necessary to ensure TitansRX can continue in the future.”
13 March The opening round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship is postponed. In a short statement IMG, the championship promoter, says: “In light of the Generalitat de Catalunya’s decree to currently suspend all live sporting events in response to the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, this year’s World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona on April 18-19 has been postponed. This decision was made after careful consideration and consultation with the FIA, the Spanish ASN and the local event organiser, as the health and safety of everyone involved remains the top priority. We are looking in to an alternative date for the event in conjunction with the local event organiser. We will provide further updates as we have them.”
14 March The fourth and and final round of the Lydden Winterseries is won by Ollie O’Donovan who is fastest in all three qualifiers and wins the final in his Ford Fiesta Supercar. O’Donovan leads home Steve Hill (Mitsubishi Lancer E10), Bradley Samspon (Mitsubishi Lancer E6) and Paul Davis (Subaru Impreza). There are class wins for Stephen Jones (RX150), Vince Bristow’s BMW E36 in the Classic and Retro category and Patrick O’Donovan who leads home Harry Garman and Luke Constantine in the Junior race.
15 March The first round of CARX, the South American Rallycross Championship takes place as schedule at Concepcion del Uruguay. The series has restructured classes for 2020, the Group N and Maxi Rally Light classes now combined into the RC2N grouping. In round one it is Group N veteran and 2019 class champion Gustavo Trelles who takes the victory with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. Trelles is joined on the podium by Cesar Folledo (Fiat) and Martin Aranzabe (Ford). The Maxi Rally Turbo category the win goes to Gaston Gonzalez (VW) who finished second on the road to Federico Villagra’s Ford Fiesta. Villagra was able to establish a lead as others took the joker and then take his own joker in the last lap, remaining ahead to the chequer. However, after the race the Stewards reviewed an incident from the first lap and penalised Villagra, which resulted in Gonzalez taking the win. Villagra remained second with Augusto D’Agostini third in his VW.
17 March The Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy (5 Nations BRX) announces that the opening event of the year scheduled for Lydden Hill on 12-13 April will be postponed. Its statement also says that the event, Lydden’s traditional Easter showcase, will be rescheduled to run on 7-8 November when it will form part of the now regular Fireworks Spectacular event at the venue. This is in reaction the same day’s announcement from Motorsport UK suspending all permits and Certificates of Exemption until at least 30 April; in other words curtailing all motor sport in the UK until the end of April.
17 March Hedstroms Motorsport announces that Pontus Tidemand will drive one of its Volkswagen Polo Supercars in the FIA European Rallycross Championship. The drive is finalised while Tidemand is in the middle of driving to the WRC2 victory in the Mexican World Rally Championship event. “I am very grateful for Peter’s call in the middle of the rally, I want to drive as much as possible and the European Championship will be a good complement,” said Tidemand. The Swede drove four Euro RX events with Eklund Motorsport in 2019 and previously raced with EKS. Hedstroms Motorsport boss Peter Hedstrom plans to start the first three Euro Supercar events in a second Polo and will also tackle the RallyX Nordic season where the team will run other cars.
17 March Enzo Ide will tackle a full season in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar with JC Raceteknik. The former Blancpain GT Sprint champion will join RX2 graduate Ben-Philip Gundersen in a two-car attack on the championship by JCR. “In 2016 Mattias Ekstrom let me test a rallycross car, and I must say I was impressed. It was so much fun with a lot of adrenaline, I was addicted straight away. Then I did my first rallycross race with JC Raceteknik at Spa last year. Shortly after that, my accident happened. Since I stepped down from racing in 2017 there hasn’t been much driving. But now I am happy to be back and to be able to fully focus on rallycross,” said Ide who has recently been given approval by his doctors to race again.
18 March Super1600 event winner Marius Bermingrud announces that he will tackle the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600 with Italian team Tedak Racing. The Norwegian driver won at Holjes in 2019 and had planned to continue in 2020 with his privately run Skoda Fabia. “I am making the switch to the Mito RX because of how the future might look in rallycross. I got in touch with Tedak already a couple of years ago and did a race in the car – I felt at home in the team straight away. Before this season the team has built a new engine, I was in Italy before Covid-19 closed the borders and did eight laps in the car at Maggiora. They have the same passion for motorsport as me, and I hope that we will do well together. We have had much success driving with our own team, but we also know our limit. It was a really hard decision to make, but I’m curious to see where this move can take me in the future,” said Bermingrud. Tedak was absent from Euro RX in 2019 having introduced its Alfa Romeo Mito in 2018.
18 March Clement Jan will team up with Da Luz Development to race a new Super1600 Peugeot 108 in Rallycross France this year. Jan, runner-up in the Junior championship in 2019, had not expected to be racing in 2020; “Da Luz Development contacted me about the Peugeot 108 and that they were looking for a potential driver. We thought quickly enough, and offered to participate in the assembly of the car, concerning the paint, the bodywork, etc. For their part, the preparation of the car is progressing even if it is a bit complicated because they start from scratch. They wanted to diversify, their goal being to sell this Peugeot 108 to a fairly large audience, especially for Portugal. They had it approved by the FIA so that the car had relatively wide potential,” said Jan.
19 March Thomas Bryntesson is to continue in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar in 2020. Bryntesson will continue with the VW Polo he raced last year, running his own team under the TBRX banner. Third in the 2019 championship and the winner of the German event, Bryntesson will enjoy updated suspension and new Trollspeed engine in the car this year. “Everything was new for the whole team last year, but we learned a lot about the car, the set-up and how everything works from race to race. So we will start this season with much more confidence. I have been second and third in the championship before so my goal for this season is the gold medal,” said Bryntesson.
19 March Finnish racer Jere Kalliokoski will return to the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar in 2020 driving the STARD-built Ford Fiesta he raced last year. 2019 was the first season that Kalliokoski ran his own team and it focused on the Finnish championship and RallyX Nordic, placings third each series. Kallokoski has previously raced with Albatec Racing and G-Fors. “I got valuable experience from those European teams for the future; now I know what to expect from the events this year. Last season was quite intense with lots of races. The bronze medals don’t exactly satisfy me, it could have gone better. This season we will start with the same team we had last season. We work well together and the car has been prepared carefully. Only the Belgian track is new for me, I have already driven at least a bit at the other ones. My own favourite is Hell in Norway because it’s fast, there is a great variation in altitude and the scenery is amazing. Our goal is to have trouble-free events and to reach the podium at some point during the season. Whenever I drive onto the track, I drive to win,” he said.« Previous Post Next Post »