21 July / Special One Racing loses both of its Lancia Delta Evo RX1e racecars after a fire breaks out in its paddock at Lydden Hill on the eve of the fourth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. No-one is injured in the fire but the French team subsequently issues a statement saying that it would not be able take part in the remaining rounds of the 2023 championship.
22 July / The Stewards of the Meeting for the fourth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship decide to stop the World RX competition. World RX cars did not run during the first day of the British event at Lydden while investigation into the cause of the fire (above) continued. The Stewards’ decision said: “At this time, it has been determined that the investigation has not progressed far enough to determine a root cause for the failure that led to the fire. Nor will the investigation be able to find the root cause in time for the event to proceed with the assurance of the appropriate level of safety for the spectators, team members and drivers. The FIA and the organisers have investigated various alternatives for the management of the event that might have permitted the Competition to proceed. However, as the root cause is unknown, it was determined that all alternatives would be based on speculation on the causes of the extremely dangerous fire. Further, the battery manufacturer, Kreisel, was unable to provide an appropriate level of assurance in the system, pending their investigations. Therefore, following input from the FIA Safety Department and in cooperation with the promoters, in the interest of the safety of all concerned, the Stewards have determined to stop the Competition. Other Competitions in the Event will proceed as planned.”
23 July / Beaten only in the fourth heat, by which time he did not need to take risks, Tommi Hallman made an outstanding debut in the FIA RX2e Championship. The Finn won the first three heats, dropped H4 to series front runner Nils Andersson but then won again in SF1 and the final. Andersson was second in the ranking and won SF2 but suffered problems in the final and slumped to the tail of the field, finishing fifth after Roberts Vitols spun out in the second lap. Viktor Vranckx continued his recovery in the series with second place which elevated him to the joint championship lead with Andersson, while Ole Henry Steinsholt battled his way to third after Pablo Suarez was slowed by a puncture.
23 July / The 5 Nations British Rallycross Championship formed the supporting act to Britain’s World RX event at Lydden. In the unusual circumstances of the event the British series also took a swerve. At the end of Saturday’s racing, with three heats complete, a result was declared and the remaining races on Sunday were supplemented in an updated event programme to form an additional event. Thus it was that Patrick O’Donovan managed to win two rounds of the British series. In the Saturday event second and third places were taken by Jack Thorne (Peugeot 208) and Rene Munnich (Seat Ibiza) while on Sunday, when semi-finals and a final were run after two qualifiers, O’Donovan claimed a second win ahead of Shane Murphy (VW Polo) and Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Focus).
25 July / In Sweden Lycksele hosted the fourth and fifth rounds of the Swedish Rallycross Championship on Monday and Tuesdsay – it’s holiday time in Sweden! There were strong entries in the two adult SM classes, but the Junior category was had a peak of five cars and the non-championship ‘open 2WD’ section just two runners. Supernational delivered good competition, Robin Staro (Toyota Corolla) best of 24 starters on Monday but only after battling through from third place in semi-final two. Jesper Carlsson, Filip Martinsson and Timmy Enlund had each been fastest in the three heats, Martinsson and Rasmus Olsson then winning the semis. Olsson and Ossian Stenvall both non-finished in the final, Staro leading home Carlsson and Martinsson. In round five, Olsson went the distance and claimed victory ahead of Martinsson (who leads the series) and Tommie Svard. Martinsson was fastest in H1 before Svard bagged H2 and H3. Robin Starro won SF1 and the Final, but was disqualified for technical reasons, while Markus Gronningsaeter was disqualified from the final for pushing. There were 43 starters in the 2150 class in which fortunes swung rapidly. In round four, Bjorn “Putte” Alvarsson used his unique Porsche 944 to win SF2 and then win the final. In round five the next day, Alvarsson was down and out, 19th and not even in the semis, although still more than half way up order. Simon Olsson and Anton Eriksson Therus joined Avlarsson on the podium on Monday, while on Tuesday Oskar Hellstrom was the winner ahead of Kim Andersson and Eriksson Therus. Isac Torlamb was rather less troubled as he racked up a pair of Junior SM victories.
This weekend / Kouvola welcomes Finland’s Rallicross SM series for its third event of the year. Rallycross France moves on to Kerlabo and needs a solid event before its summer break while in Portugal it is back to Montalegre and the German and Austrian championships meet at Fuglau’s MJP Arena.
pics: World RX, Red Bull media pool, 5NBRX, Special One
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