Welcome to the second half of this years rallycross season! This weekend is the first event outside Europe this year, and we have an interesting entry list, a revised track and two days of rallycross.
Located just between Montreal and Quebec, the city of Trois-Rivieres is host to the motorsport festival GP3R. This is the second year WorldRX is part of the festival, which also features Canadian NASCAR and several other support cathegories. The rallycross part includes Supercars, RX Lites, Side-by-side-cross and Junior Side-by-side-cross. This year the rallycross will be held on Friday and Saturday, meaning that you have a slightly earlier deadline than usual. It’s also why I’ve posted this on Tuesday, and not Wednesday.
Thanks to some weird change on the FIA-homepage, I can’t get a screenshot of the usual map of the track. It has been revised from what we saw last year, but will have 41 % gravel and 59 % tarmac. The track is rather long with 1351 metres, but I’ll be surprised if that doesn’t include a longer straight. Since this is a new track I expect the gravel to be loose, but I hope the jumps are a bit different than last year (like in Mettet). Last year saw Petter Solberg take a dominant 30-point win, and I’m sure he will enjoy the loose gravel here. It’s still the kind of tracks that will suit both racingdrivers and rallydrivers, so things are open here. Anton Marklund did really well here last year, and this might be the event to kickstart his season. Due to a lot of damage on his car after the massive crash in Höljes, Marklund will drive a borrowed VW Polo.
Interestingly, Marklund Motorsport driver PG Andersson isn’t on the entry list! There’s no saying why (I’ve asked the twitterverse), but I guess his spot is taken by Tanner Foust on this event (Or that his car is driven by Anton Marklund instead). Tanner was unfortunate here last year with technical problems and lack of time, but this track should be more similar to what he’s used to in the GRC, than what we usually see in Europe. People have been hoping to see the Beetle here, but he’s racing a Polo and not risking any damage to the Beetle.
We also see change in WorldRX Team Austria, where youngster Chris Brugger takes the spot of Max Pucher for this event. Pucher hasn’t won a single point this season, so opening for young talents might be a good idea. Brugger will also race a third Fiesta in Hell later this month. Due to other commitments, Alx Danielsson couldn’t enter here in Canada. He is replaced by EuroRX front runner Tommy Rustad, who makes a guest appearance in the Audi S3 before returning to Marklund Motorsport in Hell. This will be the first sign of how the S3 really is to drive, because Rustad has proven his pace so far this year.
Returning to WorldRX for Canada is JRM Mini, together with local drivers Patrick Carpentier and LP Dumoulin. Carpentier impressed in a Marklund Polo here last year, despite low expectations. He will try to replicate that this year, and is joined by 2014 Canadian NASCAR Champion LP Dumoulin. According to Rennsports Porsche9146, he’s one out of two or three great drivers in that campaign, so I’m looking forward to see him in rallycross. The JRM Mini showed its potential at Lydden Hill with Guy Wilks behind the wheel, so this will be interesting.
This event is of course broadcasted on livestream, starting at 18:00 EDT Saturday (00.00 CET Sunday) In case you need to know more about rallycross before making your picks for this round, take a look at the season guide. The rules are at the bottom of the guide, but they’re really simple so I can just repeat the most important thing here. You pick six drivers, but you can only pick one driver from each team. Will there be prizes? I’m yet to find anything, but I’ll let you know when I do! In case you want to do an in-depth analysis, I’ve made a statistics spreadsheet for your pleasure. All entrants are listed below, and you can find the official entry list here.
SDRX - CITROËN DS3
#1 Petter Solberg (NOR), Avg last 10: 25.30 - Last year: 30
#33 Liam Doran (GBR), Avg last 10: 6.70 - Last year: N/A
VOLKSWAGEN TEAM SWEDEN - VW POLO R WRX
#3 Johan Kristoffersson (SWE), Avg last 10: 17.20 - Last year: N/A
#99 Tord Linnerud (NOR) Avg last 10: 5.30 - Last year: N/A
WORLDRX TEAM AUSTRIA - FORD FIESTA VII
#7 Manfred Stohl (AUT), Avg last 10: 7.43 - Last year: N/A
#70 Chris Brugger (AUT), Avg last 10: N/A - Last year: N/A
EKSRX - AUDI S1, VW POLO
#10 Mattias Ekström (SWE), Avg last 10: 17.75 - Last year: N/A
#92 Anton Marklund (SWE), Avg last 10: 7.20 - Last year: 26
OLSBERGSMSE - FORD FIESTA ST
#13 Andreas Bakkerud (NOR), Avg last 10: 17.90 - Last year: 14
#15 Reinis Nitiss (LVA), Avg last 10: 15.30 - Last year: 11
#42 Timur Timerzyanov (RUS), Avg last 10: 8.90 - Last year: 17
TEAM PEUGEOT-HANSEN - PEUGEOT 208 WRX
#17 Davy Jeanney (FRA), Avg last 10: 10.70 - Last year: 13
#21 Timmy Hansen (SWE), Avg last 10: 19.80 - Last year: 14
ALL-INKL.COM RACING MÜNNICH MOTORSPORT - AUDI S3
#24 Tommy Rustad (NOR), Avg last 10: 3.29 - Last year: N/A
#77 Rene Münnich (GER), Avg last 10: 0.67 - Last year: N/A
MARKLUND MOTORSPORT - VW POLO RX
#34 Tanner Foust (USA), Avg last 10: 11.60 - Last year: 0
#57 Toomas Heikkinen (FIN), Avg last 10: 14.90 - Last year: 18
JRM RACING - MINI COUNTRYMAN RX
#82 Patrick Carpentier (CAN), Avg last 10: 13.00 - Last year: 13
#147 LP Dumoulin (CAN), Avg last 10: N/A - Last year: N/A
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS
#4 Robin Larsson (SWE) - Audi A1, Avg last 10: 9.50 - Last year: N/A