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.
Highlights of qualifying as well as live semifinals and finals will be shown on Youtube on Sunday, 15:00 CEST. Should be right between Monaco GP and Indy 500 as usual! If you’re new to this game you can read the rules in detail here. I’ve also made a statistics spreadsheet if you want to do an in-depth analysis before making picks. All Supercar entrants is listed below.
VOLKSWAGEN TEAM SWEDEN - VW POLO
#3 Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) - Avg last 10: 17.70 - Avg GBR: 23.00
#34 Tanner Foust (USA) - Avg last 7: 12.29 - Avg GBR: 8.00
#92 Anton Marklund (SWE) - Avg last 10: 9.40 - Avg GBR: 5.50
EKSRX - AUDI S1
#5 Mattias Ekström (SWE) - Avg last 10: 21.80 - Avg GBR: 26.00
#57 Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen (FIN) - Avg last 10: 10.80 - Avg GBR: 12.50
WORLDRX TEAM AUSTRIA - FORD FIESTA
#6 Janis Baumanis (LVA) - Avg last 6: Avg GBR: 0.00
#7 Timur Timerzyanov (RUS) - Avg last 10: 8.30 - Avg GBR: 0.00
#31 Max Pucher (AUT) - Avg last 10: 0.00 - Avg GBR: 0.00
TEAM PEUGEOT-HANSEN - PEUGEOT 208
#9 Sebastien Loeb (FRA) - Avg last 3: 18.00 - Avg GBR: N/A
#17 Davy Jeanney (FRA) - Avg last 10: 14.20 - Avg GBR: 4.00
#21 Timmy Hansen (SWE) - Avg last 10: 19.40 - Avg GBR: 9.50
#71 Kevin Hansen (SWE) - Avg last 3: 6.67 - Avg GBR: N/A
HOONIGAN RACING DIVISION - FORD FOCUS RS
#13 Andreas Bakkerud (NOR) - Avg last 10: 14.90 - Avg GBR: 25.00
#43 Ken Block (USA) Avg last 5: 8.80 - Avg GBR: N/A
ALL-INKL.COM MÜNNICH MOTORSPORT - SEAT IBIZA
#15 Reinis Nitiss (LVA) - Avg last 10: 8.40 - Avg GBR: 18.50
#77 Rene Münnich (DEU) - Avg last 10: 0.70 -Avg GBR: 0.00
OLSBERGSMSE - FORD FIESTA
#37 Guy Wilks (GBR) - Avg last 2: 7.00 - Avg GBR: 14.00
#68 Niclas Grönholm (FIN) - Avg last 4: 1.25 - Avg GBR: N/A
#96 Kevin Eriksson (SWE) - Avg last 4: 13.00 - Avg GBR: N/A
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS:
#1 Petter Solberg (NOR), Citroën DS3 - Avg last 10: 21.50 - Avg GBR: 23.50
#4 Robin Larsson (SWE), Audi A1 - Avg last 10: 13.90 Avg GBR: 16.00
#33 Liam Doran (GBR), JRM Mini Countryman - Avg last 10: 3.50 - Avg GBR: 0.00
#51 Julian Godfrey (GBR), Ford Fiesta - Avg last 2: 0.00 - Avg GBR: 0.00
#111 Derek Tohill (IRL), Ford Fiesta - Avg last 10: 2.70 - Avg GBR: 0.00