Let’s rewind a decade and take a look at the 2011 FIA European Rallycross Championship. The series was run over ten events, the calendar arranged and points scored in two groups of five events. There were three championships, Supercar, Super1600 and TouringCar. Participation over the year was varied, nine Supercar drivers started at all ten events, but in Super1600 this number of full-time participants was five and in TouringCar only two drivers managed to complete the tour.
The year brought Sverre Isachsen the third and final of his Euro RX titles. Winning the opening round of the year at Lydden, Isachsen was outscored by Tanner Foust in the first half of the year, but then hit his stride in the second half, winning four times and winning the title at the penultimate round in Poland.
Poland was also the scene for championship victory for Andreas Bakkerud in Super1600 and Lars Oivind Enerberg in TouringCar, all three titles won by Norwegian drivers, and all three champions going into the series finale in the Czech Republic with nothing to prove. Perhaps helped by the fact that the pressure was off and they were able to drive without need to think about championship consequences, all three also took event wins at Sosnova.
The 2011 season was notable for other reasons too:
Team manager and test driver
For the first time since 1987 Kenneth Hansen was not a full time competitor. Stepping down at the end of 2010, Hansen put his efforts into running his team which had Timur Timerzyanov and Liam Doran on the driving strength. Hansen also developed the new Citroen DS3, debuting the car in Sweden and then racing again in the Czech Republic. On each occasion he used all of his ability and experience to achieve second place.
I’ll see you in court
In Portugal in mid-May Tanner Foust became the first American to win an FIA rallycross event. At the end of the year he was in the FIA International Court of Appeal fighting the Dutch ASN. Black flagged in Q3 and eventually disqualified from the event, Foust eventually won the case. The trial did not bring him any championship points from the Dutch event but did mean that he was able to use the zero score in the Netherlands as a dropped score. And that made the difference between third and second in the championship.
First time winners
As mentioned above, Tanner Foust achieved his first FIA win in Portugal in round two. France was the scene of round three and was where Frode Holte achieved his first FIA rallycross victory with his Volvo C30. Continuing the theme, Mats Lysen then claimed the event win in Norway with his Renault Clio. Lysen had been a winner in Super1600, but this was his first Supercar success. Following in those particular wheel tracks, Timur Timerzyanov bagged his first Supercar win in Belgium in round six.
It’s a wrap
Monster Energy became Liam Doran’s primary commercial backer at round two where his Hansen-run car was presented at scrutineering in red and then hidden away in the team awning and re-wrapped in Monster Energy’s matt black and green prior to the deal being announced before racing on Saturday. In Poland SET Promotition also re-wrapped a car when Andreas Bakkerud had done enough to secure the Super1600 title after qualifying the Finnish squad wrapped his ‘baby blue’ Renault Clio in gold before the final.
A big roll at Holjes effectively brought an end to Andreas Eriksson’s career as a regular driver and in the second half of the season the Swede focused on team managing Tanner Foust.
Morten Bermingrud’s Citroen C4 was extensively damaged by a fire in round eight at Greinbach in Austria. Getting himself out of the car, the Norwegian could no more than watch as the local fire brigade struggled to extinguish the blze.
Norway was the scene for the first FIA event start by Anton Marklund. The young Swede drove his TouringCar Fiesta in four more events, third place in Sweden his best finish. A decade on Marklund is a double FIA European champion and established World Championship front runner.
After a handful of events in 2010 Toomas Heikkinen undertook his first full FIA rallycross season, third place in Sweden his best result on the way to sixth place in one of Per Eklund’s Saab 93s.
Rene Munnich was classified 18th having started in eight of the ten events with his Skoda Fabia. The German remains a committed rallycross competitor both as team owner and driver in World RX.
Second in round one at Lydden, Marc Laboulle drove in five more events and was classified 13th. These days he is to be found in a management role for the Dubourg brothers at Euro RX team DA Racing.
The only British driver to win an FIA event in Super1600, Julian Godfrey won in Belgium with his Ford Fiesta. The engine builder continues to race in the British Championship where he is the most successful driver ever.
Steven Bossard claimed the Super1600 win in round three at Essay in France with his Citroen C2. At the end of the year he drove a SET Promotion Renault Twingo to third place in the Czech Republic. The Frenchman can now be found as suspension supplier and engineer at Gronholm RX in the World Championship paddock.
Former European champion and serial event winner, Roman Castoral placed second in the TouringCar championship winning three events along the way. Today the Czech racer continues to rip it up and win almost as he pleases in CEZ and national events.
Arriving in Sweden for his first FIA event, young Polish racer Krsysztof Skorupski took a notable victory. He completed the second half of the series, winning again in Austria and at home in Slomczyn to finish third in the championship. He now runs a team in the Super1600 championship.
Solberg father and son put in laps at Holjes in 2011. Driving in a crosskart demo, Oliver Solberg drove his own regular racer buggy in which he was busy establishing the formative stages of his career that today sees him in WRC2. Petter Solberg drove a 650cc buggy belonging to nephew Lukas Walfridsson.« Previous Post Next Post »