Andersson makes World RX history. Oss takes win in Riga. Ekstrom returns.

Seven days in rallycross 12 May

by Rallycross World |

5 May / Cars from the Retro Rallycross Championship will attend the new Firle Beacon rally stage event that will take place in the UK on the last weekend in July. The new event in East Sussex will cater for cars from various disciplines, majoring on rallying, with drivers taking on a challenging 2.4-mile rally stage. Retro RX competitors to be invited to take part will include Rob Gibson (MG Metro 6R4), Gary Simpson (BMW M3), James Harrold (Volkswagen Beetle), Steve Harris (Ford RS200) and more.

5 May / The new Spanish Rallycross Cup reveals the CERX2 category for Peugeot 208 R2 rally based machines. The class is the fourth to be added to the new series’ roster, and is aimed at being accessible for drivers with existing machines used in Spanish gravel and tarmac rallying. In a novel move, driving duties in the class can be undertaken by two drivers sharing the role, to help with limiting costs for individual competitors. The first round of the championship will take place at the Calafat Circuit on June 4-5.

6 May / American team Vermont Sports Car announces that it will run a pair of all-electric FC1-X machines in the Nitro Rallycross headline Group E category this year. Best known for running Subaru America’s rally and rallycross programmes, the Vermont-based squad is also expected to continue running Subaru WRXs in the Supercar category, but will field a brace of FC1-X machines for reigning Nitro RX champion and series founder Travis Pastrana and former ARX2 champion Conner Martell in the new single-make class under its own name. “This is a big step for our company and team, and shows we are serious about our commitment to the sport and the future,” said Vermont SportsCar boss Lance Smith. “We are proud to have been a seminal force in the rise of rallycross in the USA beginning over a decade ago, but this next step into the electric space, and where Nitro wants to go with it, makes us excited and more optimistic than ever about the future of the sport.” 

7 May / The opening round of the Latvian-Lithuanian Rallycross Championship takes place at the Bikernieki Circuit in Riga, where Latvian driver Edijs Oss claims victory in the headline Supercar category, winning Q3 and the final, despite Estonian racer Andri Oun (Ford KA) setting the best time in the opening two qualifiers. Oun finishes second in the final. Janno Ligur (Skoda Fabia) dominates the Super1600 division while Janis Olle wins the final in the Lada RX class. Newcomer Ralfs Igaveņs wins on his debut in the BMW RX 3000 category, and Krstaps Kasparovics tops the Super 2000 order, without setting a single fastest time in qualifying. Former World RX ace Reinis Nitiss wins the Extreme crosskart final.

7 May / Subaru Impreza driver Michael Grunwald wins the Supercar final in the join Belgian-German Rallycross Championship round at Estering. Glenn Cools (Volvo S40) beat the similar machine of Ludi Hermans to win the Supernational 2000cc+ Belgian Championship final, while Kurt Lambers (BMW M3) takes the Supernational 2000cc- category spoils. Victory in the competitive German Super1600 division is taken by Libor Tejes with an Audi A1, while Steve Otzer wins the Belgian RX3 final with a Citroen C2. Experienced Belgian racer Davy Van Den Branden crashes out of the event in classic Estering first corner contact. Kobe Pauwels wins the BRC-X CrossCar Senior final with his LifeLive TN5 machine, whuile Demelenne Romuald uses a similar steed to claim victory in the Junior version of the class, while the separate German Crosscar final is won by Erik Flashar.

8 May / European Rallycross Championship regular Tamas Karai (Audi S1) wins the Hungarian Rallycross Championship event at Monorierdo, ahead of Ford Focus racer Mate Benyo. Victory in the Super1600 final goes the way of Opel Astra driver Lehel Laczko, while Tibor Vamosi steers his BMW E36 to a commanding victory in the SuperTouringCars +2000 final. Peugeot 208 driver Ferenc Ficza takes victory in the SuperTouringCars -2000 class, where Czech veteran Roman Castoral is a notable absentee from the top of the order, having retired from Q2 and failing to start Q3. Akos Gonda wins the single-make Suzuki Swift Junior final by a narrow margin, the top four covered by less than 2.5 seconds at the finish. 

8 May / Supercar Lites front-runner Linus Ostlund announces that he will make his Supercar debut in the opening rounds of RallyX at Holjes, racing an Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta. The car he will drive is owned by Norwegian Frank Valle, and is the same machine that Kevin Eriksson raced to victory in the German round of the World Rallycross Championship in 2016. “We’ve been discussing this for a while but it never came to reality. But, with a late decision, we finally made it happen and it’s so exciting,” said Ostlund. “We’re running a late test a couple of days before the race in Holjes, but I have no expectations for the weekend really. It’s a totally new car for me and the other guys in Supercar are not exactly beginners, but I’ll try to give them a fight. We will do Holjes and then see what happens for the rest of the year – hopefully we can do some more races. But right now, it’s been a dream for so long to even get the chance to drive a Supercar and to race one at Holjes is just mega!”

10 May / New World Rallycross Championship squad Construction Equipment Dealer Team announces that Swede Klara Andersson and Finn Niclas Gronholm will race it’s two cars in the 2022 campaign, making Andersson the first female to secure a full-time drive in the series. The squad, operated by PWR RX, a sister company to leading Swedish touring car outfit PWR Racing, will be led by Swede Emil Axelsson and Finn Jussi Pinomaki. Andersson impressed on her debut in the RX2e electric support category to World RX last year, at Spa in Belgium, while Gronholm’s pedigree in World RX is without question. “I am very proud to become the first female full-season World RX driver; this is by far the most inspiring thing I have done in my life,” said Andersson. “I have a lot to learn, but my long-term goal is to become the first female World Rallycross Champion. While I have rallycross experience, World RX and the awesome 680hp electric beasts that we will race are new to me. None of us are expecting to get anything for free, we have plenty of hard work ahead of us to establish ourselves at the top.”

12 May / 2016 World Rallycross Champion Mattias Ekstrom announces a late entry into the opening weekend of the RallyX season at Holjes, driving an Audi S1 run by his own team, alongside Belgian racer Enzo Ide. The outing will mark Ekstrom’s first rallycross start since the Latvian World RX double-header last year, in which he drove a Seat Ibiza for the Munnich Motorsport team. “I had a good last weekend in Pure ETCR, and I must say I was tempted to try and do one rallycross race per season. When I saw the grid for the grid for the Holjes RallyX opener, I thought that is quite tempting to do,” said Ekstrom. “I thought ‘one thing at a time’ so I did the race last weekend in Peu, which went really well and I was just too excited to do a bit of rallycross. I still love the format, the cars and also to go there together with Enzo to have a nice weekend with him, it will be exciting. I can’t wait for the racing action to start!”

This weekend / RallyX begins its 2022 season at Holjes. With a short season comprising just four weekends of racing up to the end of July, drivers have no room for error in this one. The CEZ series moves on to Austria where the PC Racing Center at Greinbach plays host to an event that also counts for the Austrian national championship. The 5 Nations British RX series is in Wales where the Pembrey circuit has been revised since last year. See our full events listing below.

pics: Retro RX, CERX, Baltic RX ,World RX, RallyX Nordic, Nitro RX, EKS

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