Returning after a short break, here’s a Seven days roundup of the news for the first few weeks of 2023.
18 December / The second weekend of Trophee Andros racing took place in Andorra where JB Dubourg and Aurelien Panis took a win each. Panis ended the event leading the championship from Dubourg. The Elite class provided wins for Margot Laffite and Julien Febreau.
7 January / The third weekend of Andros Trophy racing took place at Isola 2000 where three rounds of the Trophee Andros series were run, the extra qualifier added after the new event at Tignes, scheduled to run later in January, was cancelled. Doran Boccolacci won two of the three events, Aurelian Panis taking the second event to strengthen his points position in the series. DA Racing had a clean sweep in the Elite class where Gerald Fontanel won twice and Emmanuel Moinel won in the third race.
8 January / The delayed final round of the Irish Rallycross Championship takes place at Mondello Park where Tommy Graham emerges as the winner in his Ford Fiesta MkVI Supercar. The late change took its toll on the entry and Graham’s only real rival in the event was Welshman Roger Thomas who placed second in the Supercar final, Subaru runners Darragh and Michael Morris completing the finishers. Graham went on to win the Superfinal in which Jason Bleasdale Vauxhall VX220) took second place having earlier won the Modified (Supernational) final. Nicole Drought (Renault Clio) won the Open Clubman (should that be Clubperson?) final, Thomas O’Rafferty (Nova) was best of the rally car field and Joshua Power beat Toby McGuire in the Junior final.
11 January / 2003 BTRDA Rallycross Champion Chris Cake will return to the sport after a lengthy break when he oversees the Junior rallycross programme of his 13-year-old daughter Phoebe. A former autograss racer, Phoebe Cake has not raced for 18-months but has had a test in the ex-Owen Robbins Suzuki Swift in which she will contest the Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship.
12 January / Steve Harris exhibits his new all-electric Mini Supercar at Autosport International. A year in the making, the car is based around a Mini RX Supercar that is derived from the Prodrive-led World Rally development. The car uses STARD’s ERX powertrain as fitted to the Projekt E cars. Harris plans to use the car in a full programme of 5 Nations BRX events and also retains his RS200 Retro Rallycross car. A number of British RX Supercars, retro rallycross and RX2e cars took part in the indoor Live Action event at Autosport International. Among those to drive in Retro Rallycross, Kenneth Hansen got behind the wheel of the Peugeot 306 Supercar owned by Ollie O’Donovan and originally built by Will Gollop.
14 January / Nitro Rallycross says the final round of its 2022-2023 season will now take place at Glen Helen in California on 17-19 March.
14 January / In the first of the GSeries ice races in Andorra, Guilaumne De Ridder takes victory in the GSeries-E class, beating fellow rallycross racer Raul Ferre. Viktor Vranckx placed fourth in the event that used RX2e cars. Jose Roger won the side-by-side class final while the Renault Clio final was won by Stephan Polderman and young French rallycross star Dylan Dufas in fourth place.
21 January / The Trophee Andros moved on to Lans-en-Vercors where Aurelien Panis and Yann Ehrlacher took the Elite Pro wins. Sylvain Pussier took a race of Elite victories but it was another strong weekend for Julien Febreau who led the class championship.
22 January / Nitro Rallycross visits Trois-Rivieres where Oliver Eriksson won the snow and ice event run within the hippodrome that previously formed part of the Canadian city’s summer World RX events. Eriksson brothers Oliver and Kevin won their first heat races to secure places on the front row of the final grid and then faced little real opposition in the final where series leader Robin Larsson placed third.
28 January / The Trophee Andros season reaches its conclusion at Super Besse. Aurelian Panis starts the event as champion-elect but does not feature strongly in the event which is won by Adrian Formaux ahead of outgoing champion JB Dubourg. Dubourg’s DA Racing squad celebrate success in the Elite class where Julien Febreau puts the finishing touches to a series winning campaign
28 January / In the second GSeries event, Guilaume De Ridder took a repeat victory in the E class, Viktor Branckx this second to his coach with Joan Sochas third. Raul Ferre and Nils Andersson completed the finishers in the final. Lucas Darmezin won the Clio final and Jose Roger won the side-by-side final again.
28 January / Former FIA World Rallycross Champion Matias Ekstrom wins the Race of Champions which is again held on ice at Pite Havsbad in the north of Sweden. Ekstrom progressed to the final via a victory over Johan Kristoffersson who had been his teammate in the team section of the event, the two Swede’s being knocked out by Norway’s winning squad of Petter and Oliver Solberg.
31 January / After a winning drive in the 2022 season finale, Klara Andersson is announced as a full-time member of the ABT Cupra XE team for 2023. The Swedish World RX racer will partner Nasser Al-Attiyah. “I am extremely excited to join full-time and race alongside Nasser again. He’s an amazing driver and person overall, and so I am really happy to continue the momentum that we got last year in Chile and Uruguay,” said Andersson.
1 February / FIA European Rallycross Champion Kobe Pauwels is to embark on a season of circuit racing and will drive an Audi RS3 LMS with Comtoyou Racing in the TCR Europe season. The latest rallycross graduate to take their multi-surface skills to the race circuits, Pauwels has been successful in both RX3 and CrossCar over the last two years. “It will be a challenge to perform right from the beginning, but we have a good test programme before the start of the season in order to get used to the car, tracks and different circumstances. First of all, I want to enjoy myself and hopefully the good results will follow,” said Pauwels.
4 February / Viktor Vranckx wins the A final in the third GSeries event in Andorra. Raul Ferre was top qualifier and places second in the final, Cate Munnings and Christine Giampaoli completing the finishers. Guilaume De Ridder qualified second and won the B final to be the top points scorer in the event. David Bouhet beats Dylan Dufas to win the Clio final.
5 February / Unseasonably warm weather forces changes to the Nitro Rallycross event in Calgary with most of the racing conducted with two cars on the track and no championship points awarded. Kevin Eriksson was the event winner, leading home Kris Meeke and Travis Pastrana. NRX Next was also featured, and collected championship points but had just four starters. The result was the same on each day, Casper Jansson taking the wins ahead of Jimmy Henderson and Lane Vacala.
8 February / Rallycross Promoter announces that Mattias Ekstrom is joining it’s World RX organising team as Sporting Director. Ekstrom’s new role will see him work closely alongside Executive Director Arne Dirks and the rest of the RXP team as well as all key stakeholders. The FIA World Rallycross Champion in 2016, Ekstrom grew up in the rallycross paddocks of Europe and has become one of the great all-round racecar drivers.
9 February / Universidad Nebrija, Gotenman Technology, Racing Talents and YaCar launch a programme to find drivers to take part in the CERX Spanish Rallycross Championship. The scheme aims to find two drivers, to drive in Cross Car and Cross Car Junior with in the Copa de Espana de Rallycross. The selection will take place in a shoot-out at the Ariza circuit on 18 February.
12 February / Guilaume De Ridder won the final in the fourth GSeries event where he was joined on the podium by Raul Ferre and Viktor Vranckx. De Ridder also collected the championship title, Ferre and Vranckx placing second and third. Lucas Darmezin won the Clio final but could not improve on third in the series as Dylan Dufas claimed the title ahead of David Bouhet.
Mark Flaherty / Mark Flaherty (59) died on 1 January 2023. Most recently racing in the FIA RX2e series, Flaherty first raced in rallycross in 1988, using a rear-wheel drive MkIII Escort from John Cross’ Autocross company. In October of the following he graduated to an MG Metro 6R4 built by Will Gollop’s G-Tech team, using the car to win the Lydden Winterseries in 1990-91 and winning a class title in the BRDA Championship in 1990. Returning to racing after a long break, Flaherty raced a wide range of Supercars in British and European rallycross, as well as acquiring and racing another 6R4. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
Ken Block / On 2 January Ken Block died in a snowmobile accident close to his home in Utah. His Hoonigan organisation posted a short statement to confirm the death of the 55-year-old. “It’s with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today. Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.” Most famous for his Gymkhana videos, Block took part in rallies including WRC events and drove in the US-based Global Rallycross Championship (GRC), Americas Rallycross, European and World RX. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
This weekend / Still a little while to wait before the racing begins… As far as we know the first rallycross 2023 (leaving aside ice racing etc.) will be at Mondello Park in Ireland where the 2023 IRX season gets under way on 4-5 March in the first of a series of double header weekends.
pics: World RX, Trophee Andros, IRX, Nitro Rallycross, GSeries, Extreme E, CERX, Hoonigan,« Previous Post Next Post »