14 May / Finland’s Rallicross SM entered a new era by returning to one of the most iconic rallycross tracks in europe. Hameenlinna’s Ahveniston hosted the first of the series’ new format events with racing over two days and additional classes on the racecard. Mikko Ikonen (Hyundai i20) was the winner, and beaten only in heat two in which Mika Limatainen was fastest. the pair each won their semi-finals before Ikonen lifted victory in the final. Limatainen placed second with Joni-Pekka Rajala in third place. Ville Mikkonen qualified his BMW in first place for the SRC final but lost out in the race in which Rajala, third in qualifying, stepped up to take the win. Joonas Juupajarvi had qualified second but went out in the first lap of the final. Aatu Matikainen beat Ivari Niemi and Rajala to win the Autokrossi class. Riku Huuhka and Pasi Penttinen qualified one and two in the Xtrem (kartcross) class which boasted 21 starters. Huuhka won in SF1, leading home Rajala while Penttinen was best in SF2, Marko Vainikka placing second ahead of Ville Viitanen who had been third at the intermediate. Huuhka and Penttinen were both disqualified in the final, the former out in the third lap, the latter having won the race on the road, and it was Viitanen who collected the win ahead of Juha Maensivu and Rajala. Xtrem Junior had 18 starters and it was the in-form Mikael Uitto who was top qualifier and winner of the final. Lauri Halonen placed second in the final, Joonatan Ylilammi in third place. The V1600 class introduced last year mustered a strong 20 car field among which Anton Seppa was top qualifier and winner in the final where he led home Huuhka and Elias Kalliokoski as second qualifier Matias Lautamaki slipped to sixth place. The series has added ‘Mini’, ’85cc’ and ‘125-250cc’ categories which feature on Saturday, the winners at Hameenlinna were: Sofia Nummela (who led home her sister Susanna in the ‘Mini’ final), Jere Huuhka and Eemil Piira.
14 May / The Austrian and CEZ Championships meet at Greinbach in Austria where Zbigniew Staniszewski (Fiesta) seizes the advantage on a day in which chief rival Ales Fucik (VW Polo) has a nightmare. Staniszewski mastered the wet conditions and won all three heats and the Supercar final. He was joined on the podium by local drivers Gerald Eder (Skoda Fabia) and Alois Holler (Fiesta). Fucik was disqualified from heat three and then non-finished in the final, ending the day classified sixth. SuperTouringCar +2000 was won by Gerald Woldrich (Mercedes C200), the -2000 category delivered a win for Robert Dabrowski (VW Polo) who beat Roman Castoral (Opel Astra) while Nico Stachelberger (Citroen Saxo) was best of the -1600 grouping. Lukas Pech (VW Polo) was the only driver classified in Super1600 while the National 1600 category had 14 starters, the best of which was Melvin Alic (Suzuki Swift) who qualified second before winning SF2 and the final. Austria’s one-make Peugeot 206 Cup was won by Leander Pfleger who took a clean sweep.
14 May / The Eurocircuit at Valkenswaard welcomed Belgian racers for an event that counted towards both Dutch and Belgian championships. With no Supercars present, SuperNational +2000 topped the bill. Kristof Bex was top qualifier but was bounced down to fourth place in semi-final three and thus missed the final. Ludo Hermans (Volvo S40) had qualified fourth but then won SF3 before repeating the win in the final where Bart Bel (BMW E30) and Johnny Verkuringen (BMW E92) placed second and third. There was no such trouble for Martijn Vanhove (BMW 1M) who was top qualifier in the -2000 group and then added victories in SF3 and the final to complete his weekend. Steve Volders (Volvo C30) and Joel Strackx (Honda Civic) placed second and third. Yves Teelen (Peugeot208) was similarly dominant in the Super1600 section and led home Davy van den Branden (Citroen DS3) and Marcel Snoeijers (Renault Megane). Luca van Hoof took a clear win in the RST final. Beaten in SF2 by Tom Heindrichs (LifeLive TN5), top qualifier Eric Borguet (Kamikaz 3) bounced back in the final where he took the win ahead of Romauld Demelenne (LifeLive TN5) and Sven Hofkens (LifeLive TN5 evo). Jordan Genten (Kamikaz)was best of the three-car Junior Cross Car field and Germain Dewez (Semog powerboost) won the ‘Cross Car KC Cup’.
13-14 May / Rallycross drivers smash it in the second Extreme E event of the year. In round three of the championship Fraser McConnell and Cristina Gutierrez were top qualifiers and then inherited the win after Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings collected a penalty having won on the road. In round four on Sunday there was a second win of the 2023 season for Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor
15 May / Nitro Rallycross becomes Nitrocross. Series creator Travis Pastrana said: “I love rallycross, with its action-packed sprint racing and door-to-door action. That core hasn’t changed. But we can’t be relegated to the rules historically in place for rallycross. The Nitro Circus full-send mentality is also a big part of our DNA. We wanted to make sure that attitude came through loud and clear.” The announcement was accompanied by a ten-round calendar with events at six locations in the USA and Canada between June and March 2024. The series is to be livestreamed free on Rumble
16 May / Lydden Hill and the 5 Nations British Rallycross Championship announce a Group B, ‘period four-wheel drive cars’ and retro rallycross demo and display that will feature at Lydden in July as the FIA World Rallycross Championship returns to Lydden for the first time since 2019.
This weekend / Maggiorra is set to host it’s night race, the third weekend of racing in RX Italia and there will also be a party atmosphere at Loheac in France where the Loheac Legend Festival takes place, as far as we know the first time a whole event has been given over to historic rallycross cars. National championships continue apace in Estonia where round two is Kulbilohu, while the Latvian-Lithuanian series visits Jekabpils and the Portuguese Championship goes to Macao.
pics: World RX, Rallicross SM, Belgian RX, Extreme E, 5NBRX/Lydden, PS Racing Center, Nitrocross
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