20 Mar World Rallycross launch at Killarney
Graced by triple world champion Petter Solberg, the official announcement during the press launch at Killarney last week, that the final round of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship would be held at the Cape circuit on the weekend of 10/12 November, was enthusiastically received by everyone who attended.
And so it should have been. Because although worth a full circle of feathers in the caps of all the guys who negotiated the deal, from the Cape Town City Council, to the Killarney organisers and the board at IMG, the company that controls world rallycross — it is the unique branch the sport itself, that deserves a share of the credit.
Because rallycross has it all. And dare it be said, possibly more than any other FIA approved form of world motorsport.
Compare its positives:
- Circuits are short (the Killarney rallycross layout is just over a kilometre in length), and offers spectators near 100% visibility.
- Races are similarly short, sharp events.
- Entries are limited, with usually four and never more than six in a race.
- There are then a series elimination races, leading up to quarter, semis and finally a grand finale – much like rugby’s popular, world sevens.
- No race is long enough to become boring
- The road surface consists of sections of asphalt and of gravel and usually includes a jump. A true test of driver ability.
- There is also a unique slightly longer Joker Lap. Every driver has to complete one of these during a race.
- With 600 bhp and all-wheel-drive, a rallycross Supercar can match a F1 projectile from 0 to almost 100 km/h.
- While metallic contact can slow a car, it is not advised. Nevertheless it happens, often in the most spectacular fashion.
In this respect, Swedish driver Kevin Eriksson pulled off what was generally agreed to be the most remarkable motorsport action sequence seen last year. This, during the final of the German Rallycross GP.
Lying back in third place as they entered a particularly tight section, he managed to pass the two cars ahead of him in an outrageous manoeuvre during which his RX Supercar overtook them on the outside in a move that had the tail of his car ahead of the front wheels, almost all the way around the corner.
Captured on camera it has already been seen by millions of viewers.
With former rally star Jon Williams having been confirmed as the first South African to be accepted as a world rallycross driver, Des Easom the executive manager of the Western Province Motor Club (WPMC), has announced that Killarney is going to offer similar opportunities to local drivers. The WPMC is planning a series of events on the new circuit that are due to take place before the world championship date.