29 April / The Estonian Rallycross Championship begins at Raassilla, the first major event since reconstruction of the track which introduced a new “zero maintenance” surface. Also with something new, defending champion Maiko Tamm dominated the event in a Fiesta from TT Competition. Fastest in all three heats, Tamm comfortably won the final ahead of Edijs Oss (Skoda Fabia) and Janis Vegeris (Citroen DS3), the latter climbing from seventh after qualifying to step on to the podium. Rytis Rutkauskas (Audi A1) was similarly dominant in Super1600 and raced home almost 10 seconds ahead of Andreas Aulik in the final. Mixed with the Super1600 cars in the heats, Albert Partelson won the Junior 1600 final when the two groups were separated. Priit Rebane (Volvo C30) led the way in qualifying for the TouringCar racers but slipped back in the final where he finished sixth while second qualifier Marko Muru (Fiesta) stepped up to take the win. There were 22 Crosskarts on the entry list and Andre Kiil (Semog Bravo) was top qualifier, but had to share heats with Keivo Koiv and Sten Oja (both P-Tech). Only half of the eight starters saw the chequered flag in the final, Oja taking it first ahead of Koiv and Marko Ringenberg (Speedcar Wonder) while Kiil was one of those to retire. Karl Martin Miliste won the 650cc final and Armin Raag was the 125 winner.
30 April / Janis Baumanis wins the opening round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at Nyirad in Hungary. Anton Marklund (Ford Fiesta) battles his way to second in the final, the title holder scraping into the semi-finals in last place after being involved in a crash in heat three and then non-starting heat four while the damage was repaired. The same incident put Sivert Svardal out of the event. Baumanis was top qualifier and won semi-final one before leading the final from the start. Patrick O’Donovan (Peugeot 208) qualified fourth and was second to Enzo Ide (Audi S1) in SF2, Ide then placing fourth in the final ahead of home racer Mate Benyo who had a great event in his Peugeot 208. Andreas Bakkerud retired from the final after the washers/wipers failed on his Audi.
The second semi-final in RX3 was stopped and re-run after Joao Robeiro rolled his Audi A1. Nils Volland had already retired when the red flag was shown so did not go in the re-run which was won by Damian Litwinowivz. Top Qualifier Espen Isaksaetre was beaten by Balazs Kormoczsi (VW Polo) in SF1 but turned the tables on the young Hungarian in the final to take second place as Litwinowicz claimed his first European victory. Hungarian Robert Repasi ended his 30-year stint in rallycross at the event but retired his Skoda Fabia after H3.
30 April / With just three starters in the Supercar class, and two of those ‘Supercar Lite’, Zbigniew Staniszewski cruised to victory in the second round of the Polish Rallycross Championship. Run at Poznan the event is one of those at which Automobilklub Wielkopolski is celebrating in 100th anniversary. The combined Supernational field was led home by Roman Castoral who seems to refound his mojo. Daniel Krzysiak (BMW E62) placed second ahead of “Halk” (BMW E346). Mariusz Szczepanski (318is) was best of the all-BMW RWD Cup. Beaten only in H3, Szczepanski was joined on the podium by Dariusz Krupa and Piotr Dobrowolski. A hige field of 33 cars started the Fiat-based SC cup in which Julian Smiechowski gave his local crowd a home win to cheer. Beaten only in H2, Smiechowski was chased home by fellow local racers Alan Czyz and Bartlomiej Mirecki.
The Swedish Rallycross Championship began at Strangnas with Supernational, 2150 and Junior classes on the bill and 64 cars in the paddock. The double-header event ran three heats and finals each day, Filip Martinsson taking the Supernational win on Saturday. Rasmus Olsson (BMW E36) was fastest in H1, but after that there was no stopping Martinsson who led the way home in his similar car. Timmy Enlund took third in his E30. There were 38 starters in the 2150 class where Oskar Hellstrom (BMW E30) was top qualifier, winner of SF1 and the winner in the final. Kim Andersson (E36) won SF2 on his way to second place in the final and Magnus Abrahamsson (E46) completed the top three ahead of Bjorn Alvarsson’s Porsche 944. Isac Torlamb (BMW E30) won all three Junior heats but was eased back to third in the final which was won by Filip Bernstrom (E36) ahead of Natalie Reuter (Opel Astra).
In the second day of racing Martinsson was again top qualifier and winner of SF1 and the final. Robin Staro (Toyota Corolla) and Anders Johansson (BMW E87) joined him on the podium, the latter up from seventh place after the heats. Hellstrom ultimately repeated his R1 victory in 2150, but was made to work harder as David Hjertberg (BMW E30) topped the qualifying order. Hjertberg could do no more than second place in the final, third taken by Kim Andersson (E36). In JSM, Torlamb made up for Saturday’s slip by being top qualifier and winner of the final, Robin Olsson (Saab 99) taking second place ahead of Reuter’s Opel.
30 April / The DRX series opened with a double-header weekend at the spiritual home of rallycross in Germany. In DRX1 (Supercar) Dane Magnus Dall was the first winner of the year at the Estering, the Renault Clio driver leading home compatriot Torben Moller (VW Scirocco) and Dutchman Paul Allerts who stepped up from SuperTouringCar and had his first Supercar event with Peugeot 208 originally built by Albatec. Bjorn Urbach (VW Golf) won the DRX2 final, Maikel Alewinjse (BMW E36) and Peter Puttenaers (E36) chasing him home. In DRX3/DRX4, Bennett Zoebel (Fiesta) was winner of the final, Norwegian Hanse Petter Rosrud grabbing second place in his Honda Civic and Gerhard Volzer who took a good third in the Opel Manta more usually driven by his son Dustin. In Cross Car there was a home win for Erik Flashar (Peters) who led home Same Peters (JvdC) and Will Kisser (Peters). The N1 class was taken by Daniel Habicht (BMW E36) and the N2 victory was collected by Dominic Drange (Citroen Saxo).
In the second day of racing, Dall repeated his DRX1 victory but home driver Marc Klebs made it home ahead of Moller to take second place with his Audi A3. Visitors moved ahead in DRX2, Dutchman Bart Bell (BMW E30) ahead of Belgian Ariane Vanlommel (Volvo 240) with Andres Maschkotter (E36) best of the German racers in third place. Dustin Volzer posted a win in the combined DRX3/DRX4 final, back in his Manta and finishing ahead of Niels Warrenburg (Opel Corsa) and Rosrud. Flashar won again in CrossCar where Kisser this time got the better of Peters to finish second. Habicht and Drange repeated their Saturday wins
30 April / Also running a double-header event, RX Italia moved the Ittiri Rally Arena in Sardinia where Jenni Sonzogni became the first female winner of an Italian Rallycross Championship event. Driving in the RX5 class which is regarded as the premier category in Italy, Sonzogni took the event win her Skoda Fabia R5, beating Gianmarco Donetto in a similar car and Fabio Mezzatesta (Hyundi i20). Valentino Ledda took the SuperTouringCar win with his Peugeot 208 R2 while Nicola Morlacchi (Planet Kartcross) was best of the Kartcross field.
Sonzogni repeated her victory in the second day of the event, Donetto and Mezzatesta again completing the podium. There were also repeat victories for Ledda and Morlacchi on Sunday.
30 April / In his first event at the wheel of the Hyundai i20 used by Anton Marklund to win the 2002 Euro RX title, Davey Jeanney emerged as the winner as Rallycross France began its 2023 season at Lessay. Jeanney was fastest in heats one and three, Anthony Pelfrene (Peugeot 208) and Jonathan Pailler (208) taking the win in heats two and four respectively. Jeanney and Samuel Peu (208) won the semi-finals, Jeanney then going on to take the final ahead of Pelfrene and Peu. Emmanuel Anne (208) came through to take fourth place ahead of Damien Meunier’s VW Polo. Pailler was eliminated in a semi-final incident. Jimmy Terpereau worked harder at the wheel of his new Skoda Fabia, but also claimed victory. Way down in 14th at the intermediate, Terpereau, charged through the final phase of the event to take fourth in his semi and then win the final. Tom Le Jossec, fresh out of the Junior series as champion, also struggled in qualifying with his Renault Clio but ended his first S1600 event in second place after a similarly strong run in the finals. Going the other way, top qualifier Anthony Paillardon (Audi A1) was eased back to third at the finish. The Junior championship got a new winner as Andrea Benezet progressed through the event to win on his debut. Driving in Antoine Masse’s renamed Eleven Motorsport, Benezet is a new winner but not, of course, a new name at top of the podium – he is the son of former European champion Eddy and grandson of French rallycross godfather Jean-Jacques. Chanel Launay made the best start to the Coupe Feminine final to beat Amelie Moliexe and Chloe Danveau while Nicolas Beaucle (Mercedes) and Tom Daunat (Peugeot 206) were the winners in Divisions Three and Four.
4 May / Volkswagen Dealerteam Bauhaus confirms that Johan Kristoffersson and Ole Christian Veiby will remain its drivers for the forthcoming 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship season. The team, run by KMS, will again field and individual entry for Gustav Bergstrom. “That continuity can only play in our favour, and it is the same with our team members and partners. We have an incredibly skilled group of engineers and mechanics boasting enormous experience and expertise, and we are humbly grateful for the ongoing and faithful support of Volkswagen, Bauhaus and Red Bull. We will do everything we can to repay their trust in us and to fight for both championship titles once again,” said KMS boss Tommy Kristoffersson.
This weekend / A week after the European Championship witnessed great performances from home drivers, the Hungarian Rallycross Championship moves on to the Kakucsring for the second event of its season. In the north, Tierp will welcome the rallyX series for rounds three and four while Riga is the scene for the opening round of the Latvian-Lithunanian Rallycross Championship.
pics: World RX, RedBull content pool, RX Italia, Rallycross France, Rallikross, SBF, DRX,
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