Double world rallycross champion to visit the Cape

Double world rallycross champion to visit the Cape

Double world rallycross champion to visit the Cape.

Former triple world champion, Norway’s Petter Solberg (he successively claimed the rally crown in 2003, before following up with two successive world rallycross titles in 2014 and 2015, while at the wheel of a Citroen DS3 Supercar), is going to be joined by South Africa’s international Dakar Rally winner Giniel de Villiers, during a stop-off at the Killarney clubhouse on Thursday evening, for a chat with Western Province Motor Club members and guests.

With the Cape’s new rallycross circuit, almost complete, and Killarney scheduled to host the 12th and final round of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship in association with Monster Energy, during a Saturday/Sunday weekend in November, their talk is obviously going to centre around a form of motorsport never seen before in this south-western tip of Africa.

And local petrolheads are likely to be surprised, when they discover just how exciting it is – and the spectator advantages it offers over all other forms of FIA approved motorsport.

In this respect, the event’s title may be a trifle misleading. Because although rallycross has attracted a selection of the world’s greatest rally drivers, including nine times former world rally champion and Pikes Peak Hillclimb record holder Sebastien Loeb, as well as that wild American Ken Block, with his Hoonigan Racing Team, the two disciplines differ from one another in several important features.

Rally competitors are sent away individually on a series of special stages usually on secondary public roads, as they compete against the clock. Spectators have to move from stage to often faraway stage, if they hope to keep up with the action.

By contrast, rallycross drivers actually remain in public view all the time, as small groups race against each other, in a series of short sharp events. Aided by its turbocharger and all-wheel-drive transmission, a rallycross Supercar is even quicker than a F1 car from 0 to 100km/h.

And having participated at top level in both, Solberg’s opinions are going to be particularly interesting.

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