19 May An Opportunity for SA Rallycrossers.
An Opportunity for SA Rallycrossers.
Belgium’s Coyote round of the IMG World Rallycross Championship earlier this month, provided a surprise result when Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson broke reigning champion Mattias Eckstrom’s run of three consecutive victories in the 2017 season in his Audi S1.
This first triumph for Kristoffersson’s recently launched VW Polo GTi Supercar was backed by former titleholder Petter Solberg, who finished third in the PSRX Team Sweden’s other new Polo GTi. Second place was claimed by British driver Timmy Hansen in his team Peugeot 208 Supercar.
Eckstrom crossed the line in fourth place and while still in the overall lead, is now only three points ahead of Kristoffersson, who was well placed in the three previous championship legs that were held in Spain, Portugal and Germany.
An interesting feature of the meeting was that it included racing for the new RX2 International Series. Billed as a feeder series for the main Monster Rallycross Championship for Supercars, the RX2 is in effect, a one-make contest. Presented by Cooper Tires, the cars are identical, with 310 bhp engines mounted amidships, with the power going to ground by way of the four-wheel-drive transmission.
Built in Turkey, the fact that the series uses controlled spec vehicles is seen as the ideal opportunity for the organisers to provide an affordable platform to help showcase the talent of emerging young drivers.
Making an even stronger case for any South Africans with ideas of a career on the world motorsport stage, it must be borne in mind that although there are 12 rounds of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, only seven of them feature support races for RX2 cars.
The first of these was the recent event in Belgium, where two leading Belgium rally drivers Ghislain de Mevius and Guillaume De Ridder, were able to make their RX2 debut.
It is being followed by support events in Great Britain on 27/28 May, Norway 10/11 June, Sweden 1/2 July, Canada 5/6 August, France 2/3 September and South Africa 10/12 November.
And with a regional rallycross challenge in classes, likely to get under way on Killarney’s championship circuit sometime in June, this seems like an ideal opportunity for prospective future rallycrossers to begin preparing their vehicles for serious action.