The FIA World Rallycross Championship goes from one of the classic, hallowed venues, to a completely new one this weekend. They say that something called F1 raced here earlier this year, but now it’s time for slightly more open racing, with lots of competitors!
But first a few words about the former round in France. As expected, Peugeot and Timmy Hansen were dominant at their home round. With Petter Solberg wearing out his tires and Mattias Ekström having a spin, the final was more a formality than a real competition for the win. Surprise of the weekend was JB Dubourg, who finished third in his home round.
1. Timmy Hansen: 03:48.500
2. Petter Solberg: 03:51.501
3. Jean-Baptiste Dubourg: 03:52.070
4: Johan Kristoffersson: 03:53.231
5: Mattias Ekström: 04:18.807
6: Robin Larsson: DNF
Which means that Timmy Hansen cements his position as the biggest competitior for Solberg in the race for the driver’s title. Petter is however on schedule towards his second title with 26 points here. Johan Kristoffersson gets back into the top three with his final spot.
1. Petter Solberg: 219
2. Timmy Hansen: 182
3. Johan Kristoffersson: 156
4. Andreas Bakkerud: 152
5. Davy Jeanney: 146
6. Mattias Ekström: 139
7. Reinis Nitiss: 123
8. Topi Heikkinen: 109
9. Robin Larsson: 76
10. Timur Timerzyanov: 68
In our little fantasy-game we only saw four entrants for France, where GiuRX regained the lead after a bad round from myself. It’s still quite even though, and now we start eliminating the rounds with the lowest scores. That might see G17 and Sliding-Sideways getting back into the fight for the win. Details can be found here.
On to Spain, it’s the debut for the new rallycross track at Circuit de Catalunya. It’s a track that is familiar for most motorsport enthusiast through appearances in F1, MotoGP as well as racing games as Forza Motorsport. It’s not the first time that top-level rallycross is visiting Spain, the European Championship had rounds here from ‘87 to ‘89. Possibly the move back to Spain is to inspire local drivers to have a go at rallycross?
The rallycross will be located at the end of the GP track, with grandstands ensuring a perfect view of the track. It’s the regular 60 % tarmac and 40 % gravel, with a few tricky gravel corners. The tarmac corners are quick, especially the first two, with a tight last corner with the joker lap in the outside lane. Finding the perfect compromise on the setup here might be challenging. Since this is a new track, there’s no lap-times set yet.
Despite being in a country with a lack of rallycross tradition, we find a huge entry list because of the presence of the second to last round in EuroRX. That means two sets of finals, and the possibility to score massive points. The first wildcard entry is that of recently crowned European Champion in Touringcar, Fredrik Salsten. He joins Peugeot-Hansen this round, in his first supercar outing ever. At the other end of the experience scale is Tanner Foust, who returns to Marklund Motorsport this weekend in place of PG Andersson. With Tommy Rustad as one of the dominant drivers in EuroRX and Topi Heikkinen having a bad run recently, Marklund Motorsport might be the most difficult team to pick from this weekend.
In Münnich Motorsport team boss Rene Münnich has lent his car to double DTM-champion Timo Scheider. He won his titles in 2008 and 2009 for Audi, but has a dismal season so far this year, all the way down in 21st. Rallycross represents a new challenge for Scheider, and jumping into a car that hasn’t been the best so far might not be the best start.
Henning Solberg is also on the entry list for Eklund Motorsport, looking to drive “Herbie” in its third outing in the WorldRX. We’ll have to see if it’s just another “ghost”-entry from Henning, but Eklund is here with Rajala as well, so it’s more likely than last time out. Alexander Hvaal returns with his Citroën DS3, this time in EuroRX. Gaining confidence seems like the way to go for the Norwegian talent now. Mark Flaherty is also on the entry list, and since he has raced in the British championship now it’s more likely that we will see him around here as well.
French driver Philippe Maloigne will enter in a Citroën C4, but it seems like he’s got most of his experience from S1600. Fellow countrymen Herve “Knapick” Lemonnier and Christophe Jouet will both drive Citroën DS3’s, looking for WorldRX points. Returning for the first time since Italy last year is Christian Giarolo, entering in EuroRX.
You can of course watch this on livestream, 14:00 CET on Sunday. If you need an introduction to rallycross and the rules of the Fantasy WorldRX, take a look at the mega guide. I’ve also made a statistics spreadsheet for your pleasure, in case you want to do an in-depth analysis before making your picks. Full entry-list below.
SDRX - CITROËN DS3
#1 Petter Solberg (NOR) - Avg last 10: 24.90
#33 Liam Doran (GBR) - Avg last 10: 3.30
VOLKSWAGEN TEAM SWEDEN - VOLKSWAGEN POLO
#3 Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) - Avg last 10: 17.70
#52 Ole Christian Veiby* (NOR) - Avg last 10: 13.33
#99 Tord Linnerud (NOR) - Avg last 10: 4.90
WORLDRX TEAM AUSTRIA - FORD FIESTA
#7 Manfred Stohl (AUT) - Avg last 10: 6.50
#31 Max Pucher (AUT) - Avg last 10: 0.00
EKSRX - AUDI S1
#10 Mattias Ekström (SWE) - Avg last 10: 19.40
#92 Anton Marklund (SWE) - Avg last 10: 6.60
OLSBERGSMSE - FORD FIESTA ST
#13 Andreas Bakkerud (NOR) - Avg last 10: 17.20
#15 Reinis Nitiss (LVA) - Avg last 10: 15.40
#42 Timur Timerzyanov (RUS) - Avg last 10: 7.80
TEAM PEUGEOT-HANSEN - PEUGEOT 208
#11 Fredrik Salsten* (SWE) - Avg last 10: N/A
#17 Davy Jeanney (FRA) - Avg last 10: 14.80
#21 Timmy Hansen (SWE) - Avg last 10: 20.00
MARKLUND MOTORSPORT - VOLKSWAGEN POLO
#24 Tommy Rustad* (NOR) - Avg last 10: 19.80
#34 Tanner Foust (USA) - Avg last 10: 12.33
#57 Topi Heikkinen (FIN) - Avg last 10: 12.90
ALL-INKL.COM MÜNNICH MOTORSPORT - AUDI S3
#44 Timo Scheider (DEU) - Avg last 10: N/A
#55 Alx Danielsson (SWE) - Avg last 10: 2.13
EKLUND MOTORSPORT - SAAB 9-3, VW NEW BEETLE
#60 Joni-Pekka Rajala* (FIN) - Avg last 10: 17.67
#88 Henning Solberg (NOR) - Avg last 10: 5.20
PAILLER MOTORSPORT - PEUGEOT 208
#18 Jonathan Pailler* (FRA) - Avg last 10: 12.50
#20 Fabien Pailler* (FRA) - Avg last 10: 14.67
ALBATEC RACING - PEUGEOT 208
#27 James Grint* (GBR) - Avg last 10: 7.00
#74 Jerome Grosset-Janin* (FRA) - Avg last 10: 25.67
SINGLE CAR TEAMS AND INDEPENDENTS:
#2 Ollie O’Donovan* (GBR), Ford Fiesta, - Avg last 10: 9.00
#4 Robin Larsson (SWE), Audi A1 - Avg last 10: 8.70
#8 Peter Hedström* (SWE), Skoda Fabia - Avg last 10: 7.90
#12 Riku Tahko* (FIN), Mini Countryman - Avg last 10: 1.00
#14 Frode Holte* (NOR), Hyundai i20 - Avg last 10: 12.60
#22 Koen Pauwels* (BEL), Ford Focus - Avg last 10: 7.33
#28 Alexander Hvaal* (NOR), Citroën DS3 - Avg last 10: 14.56
#47 Ramona Karlsson* (SWE), Volkswagen Scirocco - Avg last 10: 1.67
#48 Lukas Walfridsson (SWE), Renault Clio - Avg last 10: 4.00
#49 Mark Flaherty (GBR), Ford Focus - Avg last 10: N/A
#72 Philippe Maloigne* (FRA), Citroën C4 - Avg last 10: N/A
#79 Christophe Jouet (FRA), Citroën DS3 - Avg last 10: N/A
#80 Christian Giarolo* (ITA), Ford Focus - Avg last 10: 0.00
#84 Herve “Knapick” Lemonnier (FRA), Citroën DS3 - Avg last 10: 0.00
#87 Jean Baptiste Dubourg* (FRA), Citroën C4 - Avg last 10: 16.33
#102 Tamas Karai* (HUN), Skoda Fabia, - Avg last 10: 7.00
*Driver will compete for EuroRX points.