Marklund for Euro RX defence. Staniszewski wins Polish opener. Hansen Peugeot for O’Donovan.

Seven days in rallycross 5 April

by Rallycross World |

31 March / Ollie O’Donovan is to race his unique Proton Iriz RX1 car in a programme of British and Euro RX events this year. During a difficult development season with the new car in 2022, O’Donovan frequently used older machinery. Over the winter the car has progressed further and O’Donovan’s son Patrick recently achieved the first win with it at Mondello Park. O’Donovan Snr. will start his campaign in the car at Lydden’s season opening 5 Nations BRX event this weekend. “Last year didn’t go as planned with the Proton, far from it, but the team has worked hard to resolve the problems that we encountered … so I’m very much looking forward to getting back in it. I haven’t driven the car properly since Holjes last July, and we will only get chance for a quick shakedown before Lydden, but I’m keen to get going. 5 Nations BRX and Euro RX will be very competitive this year, with a number of talented, young and fast drivers in proven machinery, but I want to get the best results I can, both for myself and to repay the effort that has gone into getting this car to a place we believe it should be,” he said.

Rallycross World | Ollie O'Donovan, Proton Iriz, Team RX Racing

2 April / Successful crosskart racer Pasi Penttinen will step up to the Supercar category of the Finnish Rallycross Championship this year. Pentinnen will race a Saab 93 Supercar in Rallicross SM, the car previously used by Toomas Heikkinen and later by others under the Betomik Racing banner. “We’ll see how it behaves, but it’s probably not the worst in the series. Let’s wait for the snow to melt so we can test it. Mainly now we are looking for stuff for that experience portfolio … but not too seriously and just for the joy of driving,” said Penttinen. We are eager to see how Penttinen presents the Saab, among the former liveries on his crosskarts is this spectacular police car scheme!

Rallycross World | Pasi Penttinen, Saab 93, Rallicross SM, Finnish Rallycross Championship
Rallycross World | Pasi Penttinen, Rallicross SM, Finnish Rallycross Championship

2 April / The season for ‘closed cars’ began at the Eurocircuit where Bart Bel won the Supernational+ category in his BMW E30. There were eight starters in the class and Bel led home fellow BMW driver Roel Verhoeven and Robin Michels’ Subaru Impreza. With nine starters Supernational -2000 had semi-finals and a final, second qualifier Peter van de Wege (Toyota Yaris) winning his semi and then overcoming top qualifier and semi-final two winner Johan Kwinten (BMW 1) in the final. There were just two finishers in RX3, Davy Van Den Branden (Citroen DS3) comfortably ahead of Willem Veltman (Citroen C2).

2 April / The Polish Rallycross Championship began at Slomczyn where Zbigniew Staniszewski (Ford Fiesta) romped home the clear winner. Fastest in al four heats, Staniszewski was ahead of second-placed Lukasz Tyszkiewicz (Fiesta) who was best of the ‘Supercar Light’ racers. Wojciech Zlotnicki (Fiesta) was third, also in a’light’ car. In the combined Supernational section Piotr Budzynski (Honda Civic) took the win. Top qualifier and winner of semi-final one, Budzynski turned the tables on “Halk” who had earlier won the +2000 final in his BMW E36. Konrad Gryz was third in the combined final, the 1600 class winner fighting up the order in his Peugeot 106 Kit Car. Piotr Calka (BMW E36) was the only -2000 starter and placed sixth in the combined final. The BMW-based RWD Cup drew 21 starters. Mariusz Szczepanski (318is) was top qualifier after winning all four heats and went on to win the first semi-final. In the final, however, Igor Sokulski (E36) raced ahead to take the win with Pawel Konecki and Kamil Pietraszko lacing second and third as Szczepanski slipped to fourth place. The biggest class in the event was the Fiat-based SC Cup which attracted 32 starters. Despite not winning a heat, the top qualifier was Bartlomiej Mirecki. Going on to win the second semi-final and the final, Mirecki led home Maciej Szkudlarek who was twice fastest in the heats and Wiktor Dudek who placed third in the final having won the first semi-final. Four SC Cup drivers were disqualified from the event.

Rallycross World | Polish Rallycross Championship, Zbigniew Staniszewski, Ford Fiesta, Slomczyn

3 April / Team RX Racing announce that Patrick O’Donovan will race a Hansen Motorsport Peugeot 208 in the British and European rallycross championships. O’Donovan (18) is the youngest ever British champion and performed well in Euro RX and RX2e last year. His 2023 programme will be in a car used by Hansen Motorsport until the end of the World RX internal combustion era in 2021. The car will be run by RX Racing with support from #YellowSquad – the Hansen brand led by Kevin Hansen. Having tried the car in Sweden recently, O’Donovan will make his Peugeot debut in this weekend’s 5 Nations BRX series opener at Lydden Hill on Saturday and Monday. “We’re really pleased to have Patrick in our #YellowSquad line-up for 2023. He was one of the front-runners in RX2e last year and he’s the British Rallycross Champion in Supercar, so for sure he is one of the future stars of rallycross. At 18-years-old he’s super-talented so we’re beyond excited that he has come into the #YellowSquad family … we look forward to seeing how he gets on and we will support him throughout his campaign as a driver. Hopefully he can challenge for the European title – he has the talent and good experience for his age. We know the 208 is a good car so we hope he can find his feet in it and challenge for victories,” said Hansen.

Rallycross World | Patrick O'Donovam Peugeot 208, Hansen Motorsport, YellowSquad

4 April / Multiple British rallycross champion Julian Godfrey will tackle the 2023 5 Nations BRX at the wheel of a Citroen DS3. The six-time champion has bought an ex-Doran car that he previously borrowed to race at Knockhill in 2021 after his own Fiesta failed. “Pat Doran and I got talking about the idea of me buying the DS3 when we were at a Ford RS200 day at Lydden last year, and we’ve sorted a deal. The car has a lot more traction on the loose than my Fiesta and obviously I drove it at Knockhill a couple of years ago. But there were a few things that weren’t right with it that day and I was fairly careful too as Pat had kindly lent it to me. Hopefully when I’ve had some more time in the car it will be quicker than the Fiesta was – that’s the plan,” said Godfrey who aims to add to his 23 British RX event wins this year. * The 5 Nations BRX has also published info that Oliver Bennett will race his Mini at Lydden in the season opening events.

Rallycross World | Julian Godfrey, Citroen DS3, 5 Nations British Rallycross

5 April / SET Promotion is to run Anton Marklund in the FIA European Rallycross Championship. The Sweden won a third FIA Euro RX title at the wheel of a Hyundai i20 run by the Finnish team last year and is back to defend the crown with a “new project”. Marklund’s 2022 win delivered SET Promotion’s tenth FIA Euro RX title but the plan to defend the crown has come together very late. “SET Promotion sold our winning car from last year so it didn’t look like we would do anything for a while, but then Jussi (Pinomaki, SET team owner) approached me with an idea that I felt challenging but fun to do. There is no pressure on myself with this new project, but I hope that our collective experience can turn this challenge in to a great season. Last year was a memorable year, where we were able to compete every weekend on the very highest level. Everybody in the team is very competitive and we all do 100% in every detail, but most importantly we don’t forget to enjoy what we are doing and keep a good spirit in the team even if we have had a tougher than usual race for some reason or other. On that basis, I very much look forward to have an enjoyable year where we hopefully can bring good speed with us too,” said Markund. Details of the campaign are to be released before the season opener at Nyirad in Hungary at the end of April.

Rallycross World | Anton Marklund, SET Promotion, Euro RX

This weekend / It’s Easter, so often the start of the season. RX Italia will run across three days at Maggiora where the Swiss Autocross Championship is also on the card. In Britain, the 5 Nations BRX heads to Lydden where racing will take place on Saturday and Monday. The Hunagrian and CEZ Championships begin at Mariapocs. Plan the rest of your season by using our guide (below).

pics: World RX, 5 Nations BRX, Autodrom Slomczyn, RX Italia

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