The FIA World Rallycross Championship rolls on with the fourth round this weekend, as we run to the hills of Lydden and the birthplace of rallycross.
Before getting on with describing this upcoming event we have to look at what happened in Belgium last time. Mattias Ekström continued his amazing form winning both qualifying, his semifinal and the final resulting in a perfect 30 points. The best of the rest were the former WRC archrivals and now bestfriends Sebastien Loeb and Petter Solberg, finishing just besides each other both in qualifying and in the final. Another (sadly not that successful) former WRC-driver in Francois Duval also qualified for the final in his one-off entry with OlsbergsMSE, together with the VW Team Sweden drivers of Anton Marklund and Johan Kristoffersson. Hoonigan Racing with Block and Bakkerud had their worst weekend so far with no drivers in the semifinals, and Bakkerud’s bad run in Belgium continues. Timmy Hansen had a false start in his semi-final and the double joker meant he was unable to make it to the final.
In EuroRX Supercar Kevin Hansen snatched the victory ahead of Jerome Grosset-Janin, with both dominating the scoreboards through the weekend. Tord Linnerud finished third ahead of Lucacs Kornel, Tommy Rustad and Joni-Pekka Rajala. In our little fantasy game that means it’s a round win for GiuRX, with his EuroRX gamble paying off. He also takes the overall lead after three events, two points ahead of myself. The complete results can be found here.
Now, Lydden Hill! A track most of you should know both from previous rounds of FIA rallycross, but also from features on the popular TV program Top Gear and lately in DiRT Rally. The first rallycross event ever was held here in 1967, and rallycross legends like Martin Schanche, Kenneth Hansen, Matti Alamäki as well as USA’s Tanner Foust has won here in the past. It is a track with long, sweeping corners on both dirt and tarmac, which is challenging in terms of setting up the car. A setup where you gain on the long sweeping gravel corner and joker lap merge will compromise the grip on the tarmac, and opposite.
Length: 1170 m
Lap record: 0:41.900 (Mattias Ekström)
Previous winners: Petter Solberg (2015), Andreas Bakkerud (2014)
Returning to WorldRX and what must be his favourite rallycross circuit, Tanner Foust will try to continue his good start of the season here. After winning in Global Rallycross last weekend he will with no doubt face more competition here, but he has won here before and got all the way to the final in 2014. The VW Team Sweden Polo has also improved since last year, so Tanner is one to watch out for this weekend.
Another driver with good memories from Lydden Hill is former rally driver Guy Wilks. He is usually heard commentating the English WorldRX broadcast together with Andrew Coley, but this time he will race with OlsbergsMSE. Wilks knows his way around Lydden Hill, and got to the final in the 1.6l JRM Mini last year. The Mini will by the way get a 2.0l engine for Liam Doran now, making him even more of a dark horse. Other wildcard entries this weekend includes former Touring-car champion and now EuroRX competitor Derek Tohill and British Rallycross competitior and rallycross engine builder Julian Godfrey. The permanent drivers as well as the championship as a whole is described in our guide linked below.