We’re now back to normal service in FIA World Rallycross, with rounds every forthnight. This weekend we are heading to Barcelona and Circuit de Catalunya, and the rallycross track that was made there last year.
But before we do that we have to look at what happened in France last time. Varying weather and wet to damp conditions suited Johan Kristoffersson and his VW Polo just perfect, and the Swede took his first win of the season in dominant fashion. He also moves up to third overall, past Andreas Bakkerud who also fought his way up to second place in a battle with rally legends Sebastien Loeb and Petter Solberg. Reinis Nitiss finished fifth in his last appearance for Münnich Motorsport, and sixth placed Ken Block failed to make an impact on the final after a good weekend. Since Mattias Ekström failed to make it to the final because of a late puncture, Petter Solberg managed to get another point on him in the overall championship. 5 points, with 4 events to go.
In our little Fantasy game G17 claimed his first win of the season and moved up to second overall. Other entrants also did well, with scores reaching over 100 for all except myself an GiuRX. Gambling on a couple of wildcards didn’t pay off.. Even more tightening is expected now that we are starting to remove the worst rounds of each competitor.
Barcelona was added last year, and the track proved itself as a proper rallycross track with both tight and sweeping corners as well as several ups and downs. Having the proper line in the first corner is crucial for the positions into the second and third corner, where the track tightens.
Length: 1133 m
Lap Record: 00:45.212 (Johan Kristoffersson)
2015 Winner: Petter Solberg
Perhaps the most important driver news to come for Barcelona is that Reinis Nitiss parts with Münnich Motorsport, and rejoins OlsbergsMSE where he spent the last couple of seasons. The young Latvian probably expected more from the brand new Seat Ibiza, but the development of the car didn’t work out as planned. Now he comes back to a team where he can just jump into a car that is quick, and Münnich motorsport can employ someone with more experience for the remainder of the season. Driving in Barcelona and Latvia is DTM veteran Timo Scheider, who also had an outing for the team last year. The goal for the German is to try to adjust to rallycross for more events next year, seemingly inspired by the success of Mattias Ekström.
JRM enters two cars this weekend, with Guy Wilks joining Guerlain Chicherit. Chicherit didn’t even start any of the heats in Loheac, but we hope for a better weekend for the Mini team now. The same goes for Nerijus Naujokaitis and his Skoda, which never appeared in the results from last time. With EuroRX also present in Barcelona, you have essentially double the amount of drivers to pick from. A driver to watch out for could be Peter Hedström, who recently switched to an ex-Marklund Motorsport VW Polo. He used that for the first time in RallyX Nordic the same weekend as Loheac, where he won the final in front of drivers like Kevin Eriksson and Lukas Walfridsson.
Highlights of qualifying and live semifinals and finals will be shown live on Youtube on Sunday at 14:00 CEST. If you’re new to the fantasy game you can read the rules in detail here, and you can find everything you need to know about the series and the permanent teams here. I’ve also made a statistics spreadsheet if you want to do an in-depth analysis before making picks. All Supercar entrants are listed below.