Marklund wins Euro RX opener. Dubourg in France. Bryntesson & Kristoffersson RallyX Kouvola wins.
Seven days in rallycross 01 June
by Hal Ridge |
21 May / The second round of the Italian Championship is run at Maggiora where, in addition to running the track in reverse direction, the event is staged as a night race. RX Italia added to the event with a “Beer Party”, the results of which are not recorded. Gianmarco Donetto (Skoda Fabia R5) won the event in his first rallycross start. Donetto was not beaten in the event, but had been worked hard by Werner Gurschler’s similar Skoda. GianMaria Gabbiani (Fabia R5) placed third. In the STC groups, Roman Castoral (Opel Astra) won the mixed final which also contained the over 2000cc and Super1600 cars. Marco Valazza (Fiesta S1600) placed second with third taken by Jenni Sonzogni (Renault Clio S1600). Marcello Gallo (LIfeLive TN5) won the thrilling kartcross final by just 0.114s over Riccardo Canzian (Speedcar Xtreme) and Maicol Giacomotti (Planet Kartcross K3).
21 May / The Estonian Championship moved on to the Laitse Rallypark where Maiko Tamm (Mitsubishi Lancer) turned the tables on round one winner Tonu Peek and took the event win. Peek was top qualifier but was fifth and last finisher in the final in which Edijs Oss (Skoda Fabia) did not finish. Raini Roomets placed second with Janis Vegeris on the third step of the podium. There were 37 starters in Crosskart Xtreme which ran an E Final… At the sharp end, Martin Juga took the win ahead of Markus Abram and Renis Nitiss. Janno Ligur won the Super1600 final and Andreas Aruaas was best of the TouringCar field.
22 May / The FIA European Rallycross Championship starts at Nyirad in Hungary with a new standalone event in which Anton Marklund (Hyundai i20) takes victory. Nine years after it lasted hosted Euro RX, Nyirad was celebrated by those who had been before and new visitors to what is definitely and ‘old skool’ track. The event was also first to be run using Rallycross Promoter’s new race format in which three Heats are followed by a Progression round, Semi-Finals and Final. With more than 15 starters in a championship there are now three semi-finals, which happened in RX1 but not in RX3.
Marklund was unbeaten in the event and was joined on the podium by Enzo Ide and Ulrik Linnemann. Ide (Audi S1) was third in the Ranking after the three Heats and then won his Progression Race and Semi-Final before chasing Marklund home in the final. Linnemann (Fiesta) had a tough start to the event and did not finish in Heat two but fought back magnificently on Sunday and from ninth in the Ranking progressed to third place in the Final. Janis Baumanis (Peugeot) was second in the Ranking but slipped to fourth in the final in which Sivert Svardal (VW Polo) was the fifth finisher.
There were eventually just 11 starters in RX3 and a good battle among the leading runners. Jan Cerny (Skoda Citigo), Kobe Pauwels (Audi A1) and Joao Ribeiro (Audi A1) each won a Heat, Cerny top of the Ranking. Cerny and Pauwels then each won a Progression Race and Semi-Final before going to the Final in which the young Belgian took control claimed the win ahead of Cerny and Ribeiro. Damian Litwinowicz (Audi A1) placed fourth and Per Magne Egebo Svardal (cousin of Sivert) made it a great day for the Norwegian family by placing fifth in his Audi.
22 May / In the second day of action at Laitse Rallypark in Estonia the Baltic Rasllycross Championship begins its 2022 season. Rebounding from a troubled Saturday in the Estonian series, Edijs Oss (Skoda Fabia) takes a clear event win over Maiko Tamm (Lancer) and Mart Tikkerbar (Lancer). Fewer than half of the previous day’s Crosskart starters remained for day two, but with 14 there was still a good competition which was won by Reinis Nitiss who was joined on the podium by Finn Pasi Penttinen and Saturday event winner Martin Juga. The NEZ Super2000 class was won by Ivo Gabrans with Maija Stakena second ahead of Kristaps Kasparovits. Rauno Rappu won the slender TouringCar class and Andre Kurg was best of of the Super1600 runners.
22 May / Round three of the Polish Championship took place at Slomczyn where Zbigniew Staniszewski (Ford Fiesta) dominated the event and was unbeaten as he notched up another win. Lukasz Tyskiewicz (Fiesta) placed second with Luasz Zlotnicki third in another Fiesta. The Supernational field was topped by Lukasz Zoll (Volvo S40) who won the fourth qualifier and his semi-final prior to beating top qualifier Robert Dabrowski (Renault Clio) in the Final. Tomasz Lyszkowksi (BMW E36) placed third in the Final. the RWD Cup boatsed 28 BMW-mounted starters of which Kamil Pietraszko (E36) was best, taking the final ahead of top qualifier Jaoslaw Frydrych (E36) and Pawel Hankiewicz. There were 34 takers for the Fiat-based SC Cup. Bartlomiej Mirecki climbed to the top step of the podium ahead of Alan Czyz and Robert Kabat.
26 May / Lydden Hill Circuit, the host of the first-ever rallycross event in February 1967, reveals ongoing work to develop the venue, with changes already made to the first corner, Chesson’s Drift, which has been renamed Talladega. “Working with Nitro [Rallycross], we have agreed on a number of modifications to the circuit starting with turning Chesson’s, the first corner, into a banked ‘NASCAR’ style corner and naming it Telladega, using a loose material for the track surface as well as removing the joker from its original position with the joker lap now taking place around paddock bend, allowing cars to enter the first corner side-by-side and continue close racing for the remainder of the lap,” said a circuit statement.
28 May / Thomas Bryntesson claims his first RallyX championship victory since 2018, overtaking reigning champion Johan Kristoffersson on the final corner of the series’ third round at Kouvola iin Finland. Kristoffersson loses the lead at the start but with a solid joker strategy retakes the position from Bryntesson, but loses power steering on his Volkswagen Polo in the closing stages. Bryntesson (VW Polo) crosses the finish line first, but is handed a penalty post-race, gifting victory to Niclas Gronholm (Hyundai i20). Following an appeal by Bryntesson’s TBRX team, the original result is reinstated. Kristoffersson is third.
Simon Olofsson claims victory in the Supercar Lites category, Pasi Penttinen wins the Crosscar division while Mikael Uitto is victorious in the Junior Crosscar final. Tuomas Venalainen wins in Open 2WD.
28 May / Luke Holly (YaCar Cross) takes the first ever FIA Crosscar race victory in the UK. Holly is joined in the class by Paul Batson, also in a YaCar, and whilethere were just two starters, the importance of the introduction of Cross Car to the UK should not be overlooked. Elsewhere in the BTRDA Clubmans event at Lydden Hill, Darren Bleasdale (Vauxhall VX220) maintains his unbeaten run in the championship at Lydden Hill, making the best start in the Supermodified final and leading from lights to flag. Returning to the headline Clubman category, Stuart Emery (Peugeot 206) finishes second while pole starter Fred Ling (Ford Fiesta) recovers to finish third. Charley Moroney (Citroen Saxo) wins the Production final, while Tomas Ramanauskas (Mitsubishi Lancer) takes the Production 4×4 spoils. Will Ovenden (Suzuki Swift) wins the Junior final at his home circuit, and Andrew Hawkes continues his winning run in the BMW Mini class. Lee Wood (Ford Escort) wins the Classic category as Vince Bristow (BMW 318) salvages a podium finish having rolled in heat one and making it to the A final via victory in the B final. Alex Fletcher (Honda Civic) wins the Modified final.
29 May / Five-time Andros Trophy Champion and World Rallycross Championship podium-finisher Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Peugeot 208) returns to the French Rallycross Championship for his home round at Faleyras and claims victory. The DA Racing has to fight his way through the semi-finals after a poor start, but dominates the final. Samuel Pau (Peugeot 208) and Dubourg’s DA Racing team mate Romuald Delaunay (Citroen DS3) finish on the podium, Delaunay moving into the series lead. Anthony Paillardon (Skoda Fabia) wins the Super1600 final and Tom Le Jossec (Renault Clio) wins the Junior final. Division 3 round one winner Nicolas Beaucle (Mercedes A Class) again in the class, as reigning champion Benoit Morel (Ford Fiesta) returns and finishes third. Jean-Francois Blaise (Renault) Clio wins the Division 4 final and Chanel Launay claims the second round of the Women’s Cup.
29 May / Johan Kristoffersson dominates the fourth round of the RallyX season at Kouvola in Finland, fending off the close attentions of Niclas Gronholm in the Supercar final to net his third win of the campaign. Having crashed been caught up in opening lap drama in round three, JC Raceteknik driver Sondre Evjen (Audi S1) makes it through lap one chaos in round four to finish on the podium. Simon Olofsson completes a dominant weekend in the Supercar Lites class with another win, while Oskar Andersson takes the spoils in Crosscar. Mikael Uitto wins his second Junior Crosscar final of the weekend, while Olli Lahti (Toyota Corolla) fights from troubles in the Open 2WD round three final to claim class victory in round four.
29 May / The Valkenswaard circuit hosts the Dutch and Belgian Rallycross Championships, but only 15 drivers take part in the event. Belgian Mitsubishi Lancer veteran Tom Meeusen wins the SuperNational+ final ahead of Dutch pairing Maikel Alewijnse (BMW E30) and Dirk Garvelink (BMW E36). Mandy Kasse (Ford Fiesta) wins the SuperNational- final in her rear-wheel-drive machine, ahead of the front-wheel-drive Toyota Yaris of Bert Theunisse. Kevin Antonis (Ford Fiesta) is third. William Veltman (Citroen C2) claims victory as the only starter in the RX3 class.
29 May / The Norwegian Rallycross Championship visits Gardermoen Motorpark where Mats Marthinsen (VW Polo) drives to a maiden victory in the Super1600 (Class 1) category, while several of the leading runners, including former European Rallycross contender Guttrom Lindefjell ran into problems. Sigurd Erik Egeland claims a clean sweep with his Mazda RX7 in the up to 2000cc class, while Joakim Vestli (BMW M3) wins in Class 3, for up to 2400cc Supernational machines, and Emil Sivesind (Audi A1) wins the Class 4 final. Former European Rallycross Champion Knut Ove Borseth (Ford Fiesta) finishes third. Mattias Härnered secures the Historic class win with a Volvo PV and Honda Civic racer Torjus Svenneby secures the Junior spoils.
29 May / Former British Rallycross Champion Christopher Evans is announced as returning to the series for his first Supercar start in more than 12 years at Mondello Park this weekend. Evans, who won the British crown in 2006 driving a Tony Bardy Motorsport Opel Astra, will race a Pat Doran-owned Citroen C4 in the double-header event. “I’ve been talking about doing something for some time, I’ve wanted to do British Championship races for the last few years, the series is strong and it’s exciting to be getting involved,” said Evans. “Things have changed since I last drove a Supercar, I’m told the technology makes the cars more reactive than when I raced my old Astra. I’ve been doing targa rallies, sporting trials, or autotests every second or third weekend in Ireland, so it’s not like I’ve been doing no motor sport at all, so I should be okay. I’m really excited, but I’m also a little bit apprehensive. All of the drivers in the championship are quick, they’ve all been racing regularly for the last few years and now I’m jumping back into the middle of it. I’ve no idea how things will go – of course I’m doing the event to have a bit of fun, but going there just to have a bit of fun isn’t really me either – I want to do well. It will be interesting to get in the car on the Saturday morning, I’m approaching this as a one off, but you never know what might happen in the future.”
30 May / Xite Energy Racing announces that former World Rally Championship front-runner Kris Meeke will return to rallycross for three rounds of the 2022 Nitro Rallycross season, driving an FC1-X in the headline Group E category. Meeke will line up alongside fellow British driver Oliver Bennett, replacing Jenson Button, who is unable to compete at rounds in the UK, Sweden and Saudi Arabia due to clashing commitments. “I’m really excited to join XITE Energy Racing,” said Meeke. “When Oli contacted me, I was really interested in every aspect: the team, the car and the championship. When I tried the car, OK the conditions weren’t perfect and it was very wet, but you could immediately see the huge potential not only with the car, but with the whole series that Nitro Rallycross is creating. Rallycross is a category of motorsport that suits electrification perfectly: it’s short, sharp racing with an incredible amount of power available instantaneously. If it’s managed well, this can certainly be a bright future and it’s really nice to be part of that with Oli and the XITE Energy Racing Team.”
31 May / Nitro Rallycross officially confirms that it’s Swedish round will take place at Strangnas Motorstadion on the last weekend in July, the second round following the season-opener at Lydden Hill later this month. “We are so excited to bring Nitro Rallycross to Sweden,” says series founder Travis Pastrana. “The fans are super passionate about motorsport and it is home to some of rallycross’ biggest names. Touring the world with Nitro Circus, the crew always looked forward to the energy the Swedish fans brought to the arena. I’m not sure there is a better fit for the high-adrenaline thrills and door-to-door racing of Nitro Rallycross.”
1 June / Extreme E and Swedish Touring Car Championship race-winner Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, who has previously raced Supercar Lites in both RallyX Nordic and World Rallycross Championship events, will return to the RX150 Rallycross Championship at Mondello Park this weekend, racing a London Rock-supported RX150. Ahlin-Kottulinsky last raced in the single-make category at a pair of events in 2016.
This weekend / The 5 Nations British Rallycross Championship goes to Mondello Park for the first post-COVID visit to Ireland and an event that also forms the third and fourth rounds of the Irish Championship.
The German Championship moves to Grundautalring, Arendonk in Belgium returns to championship action as the Belgian and Dutch series visit the reborn rallycross track two weeks after the VAS series was in town. The Hungarian championship returns to the Rabocsiring and a new chapter opens for rallycross in Spain with Calafat hosting the opening round of the new CERX Spanish series.
pics: World RX, RallyX, Nitro RX, NRV, rallycross PL, NBF, Rallycross France, BTRDA, Rallikross, RX Italia
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