Monday, 21 September 2020

Bakkerud appreciates safety equipment in Mégane after 120km/h crash.

PHOTO CREDIT: GC Kompetition
Andreas Bakkerud was given the all-clear on Sunday evening following a heavy crash in the semi-finals of round six of the World Rallycross Championship in Riga-Latvia.

The 2019 World RX runner-up came wheel-to-wheel with Timo Scheider as the German emerged from the joker lap at the end of lap five, and while Scheider was able to keep the Norweigian behind. On the last lap, Andreas saw a gap and went for the overtake on the inside of the German but in the short run to turn five, Scheider defended and squeezed him into the grass bank with significant impact, that tore the front-left corner off the GCK Mégane R.S. RX. He was immediately helped from the car by marshals and taken to the hospital for further evaluation, and was released on Sunday evening. 

Scheider finished the semi-final in third-place, but was later disqualified by the FIA Stewards for "unsportsmanlike" behavior. 

Bakkerud has not had the smoothest of seasons with GC Kompetition, but put his Renault Mégane in sixth-place overall after the three qualifiers, and progressed to the semi-finals where his weekend abruptly ended. He finished round 6 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in seventh overall. 

"Today was really a day about consistency for us in Riga and the target was the podium for sure," Bakkerud said. "I felt we were strong in Q1 and Q2 especially, then we struggled a bit in Q3, got safely to the semi-finals, and saw a lot of action there."

The Norwegian talks us through what happened in the semi-final, including the heavy 120km/h shunt.  

"First following the start which had us pushed out but then I caught up to Scheider twice and knew I had the opportunity to overtake him. I saw him break a little late to defend and I took a wider line, cut back to then take the inside line," he explained. "Then I just felt one big punch into the front side of my car that changed its direction entirely and hit the barrier on the left doing 120km/h at the time. There were parts everywhere and I literally just closed my eyes hoping that Marklund and Doran would avoid me."

"At that speed, you never know what can happen. The track medical team did a great job and the Riga hospital did a lot of tests on me, which I really appreciate."

"It’s moments like this that you appreciate the work we’ve done on our safety equipment in the Megane, the seatbelts, our hybrid device, the helmet, and so on - you sometimes take it for granted but now I’m just happy that we use safety equipment that is well proven and of great quality."

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Kristoffersson pleased despite not extending championship lead in Riga.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World RX
It wasn't a race victory on Sunday, but Johan Kristoffersson is pleased with his overall weekend in Riga-Latvia, as he maintains a seventeen point lead in the World Rallycross Championship. 

The double world champion took this third win of the season in round 5 of the championship on Saturday, and did not get off to a good start on Sunday. Championship rival Mattias Ekström dominated the qualifying sessions to earn the top qualifiers spot, but Johan is happy with his weekend in Latvia. 

"Two more races are done and not so many points left to fight for," Kristoffersson said. 

The double-header at the Bikernieki National Sports Base became a tyre strategy mind game. And, while Kristoffersson gambled in the qualifying sessions on Saturday, battling his way through on mostly used tyres, he finished second in the Intermediate Classification (after qualifying) and picked up fifteen points.

In the semi-final, he had fresh tyres and showed his great pace, winning in style.

"[The win] was the reward for the fight in Q2 and Q3," he said.

He went on to take a convincing victory on Saturday to claim his third win of the season.

Round six (on Sunday) saw, Kristoffersson fighting to earn the top spot. However, he came out second-best behind Mattias Ekström.

"The fight was all the way to the end, but really the biggest chance for victory today was in Q1. When I didn’t manage to take the start there, in Q2 I didn’t manage to beat Mattias again, and then I knew he already had a good tyre strategy then for Q3. I was on the back foot from thereon," the Kristoffersson Motorsport driver said.

In semi-final two, he started from pole position and won fairly easily, and for the final, he lined up alongside Ekström who was on pole position with new tyres on both cars.

"We were very aggressive on the tyres in the semi-final so I had four new tyres for the final the same as Mattias, I had a good launch, but so did Mattias. Then there was not much more to do," he said. 

"I was on the outside for turn one, and thereafter I just had to follow him, saving as many tyres as I could for five laps before the joker, but there was a little too much argy-bargy with Grönholm at the joker merge and during the lap, so I couldn’t really challenge Mattias at the last corner. But, I picked up as many points as I could, without winning, so I can't be disappointed."

Kristoffersson took 29 points from round five on Saturday and 26 more points from round six (on Sunday) with a total of 55 from the weekend, the same as Ekström, which sees the two split by seventeen points in the championship standings with four rounds remaining.

"I have only lost 14 points from six races," Johan adds.

The duel between Kristoffersson and Ekström is set to continue in Spain in four weeks' time, at another double-header.

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Kristoffersson extends championship lead with dominant win in Latvia.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World RX. 
Johan Kristoffersson took his 23rd career victory of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in Riga-Latvia, after a well-executed tyre strategy. 

Despite posting the fastest time in Q1, Kristoffersson used an alternate tyre strategy, which put in on the back foot against his rivals in Q3 (on new tyres). But the Swede would have the upperhand in the semi-final and final with five new tyres. He finished the three qualifying heats in second-place overall behind Niclas Gronholm (in the immediate classification) and rubber stamped a place in the semi-finals. 

Semi-final one saw Mattias Ekstrom start on used tyres, but that was no disadvantage for the Swede, as he immediately sweeped around the outside and into the lead after a good start, and he would control the race all the way to the checkered flag. 

While Johan Kristoffersson unleashed three new tyres (two on the front and one on the left rear). He had a superb launch off the line and led from start to finish. And, that was not all... he also produced the fastest lap of the day, a 48.391 second lap. 

Starting on pole position for the final, Kristoffersson was the only driver with new tyres (front tyres) and had a good launch off the line, only to be challenged by KYB Team JC's Robin Larsson who clipped the rear of Johan's Polo supercar, then was spun around the front of Mattias Ekstrom. While Kevin Hansen sweeped around the outside of Ekstrom to claimed P2 after the 2016 champion backed off due to the turn two melee. Facing the wrong way at turn two, Larsson was hit by Gronholm who was intern hit by Timmy Hansen. 

Clear from all the bumping and grinding behind, Kristoffersson pulled a two-second gap to pursuing Kevin [Hansen] who tried to make an impact, but with an early joker lap strategy. The Team Hansen driver would fall behind Mattias Ekstrom, and would ultimately finish behind his older brother Timmy Hansen. 

The untouchable Kristoffersson crossed line 3.468 seconds ahead of Mattias Ekstrom and Timmy Hansen, to claim his third win of the 2020 World RX season and also extend his Championship lead to 21 points.

"This feels very good. We were really pushing hard in Q2 and Q3, I was not really able to pull off the best times, but instead we had some good tyres for the semi-final and final so I think we had a big jump on our competitors or terms of tyres, then we had two good starts, and everything is much easier when you have fresh tyres," Kristoffersson said. "Big thanks to the team, we made some changes between Q3 and the semi-final and it actually made the car better so that feels good to gamble and go in the right direction."

Ekstrom’s second-place finish in Riga-Lativia is his 25th podium finish of his career and he admits that in order to beat Johan Kristoffersson, he needs to be spot on with everything he does. 

"The first corner of the final was a little bit too exciting, I don’t know exactly what happened to Robin, we’ll have to watch the television, but it was a bit messy and after I drove as fast as I could behind Kevin. After he jokered I had a clear track and ended up P2. For sure that was not our wish when we came here, we wanted to win but during qualifying we were not good enough so we couldn’t do good enough starts so we couldn’t be at the front in Q1 and Q2," Ekstrom said.

"When you’re on the back foot then you have to try and recover and I think P2 is a good recovery, but you need to be spot on to win these races especially when the other guys are in top shape as well."

Timmy Hansen's third-place finish meant it was an all-Swedish top three and also ensured that the podium was filled by World RX Drivers’ Champions (Kristoffersson 2017-18, Ekstrom 2016, Hansen 2019).

The Team Hansen driver is rather pleased with a podium finish after a hard-fought day in Riga. "We had a tough day. We see glimpses of really good performance, some good launches and I’ve been fastest on lap time many times today, but you know when you’re not upfront then it’s not easy," he said. "We need to improve those launches so we can be at the front of the races from the beginning. I must say coming in third is really good and I’m super happy about that. The team has worked so hard and it is paying off, but at this level, it’s a slow process to gain speed, but I’m quite confident tomorrow will be even better."

Kevin Hansen brought his Peugeot 208 across the line in fourth-place after avoiding the turn two melee but was unable to make inroads on Kristoffersson or Ekstrom, while top qualifier Niclas Gronholm finished in fifth followed by Robin Larsson in sixth-place.

While Johan [Kristoffersson] has a 100% record of converting front row starts to victories on Saturday's, he is yet to win an event on Sunday [double-header], and thus could be called a Saturday man. However, if he is able to put it all together on a Sunday, he will climb onto the top step of the podium. 

Despite winning this afternoon in Riga-Lativa, the Swede will already have a plan for the sixth round six the FIA World Rallycross Championship tomorrow at the Bikernieki track in Latvia.

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Grönholm edges Kristoffersson to take TQ.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World RX
Niclas Grönholm has edged Johan Kristoffersson to take the TQ (top qualifier) position in round five of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the Neste World RX of Riga-Latvia. 

Kristoffersson was quickest in Q1, and despite being on pole position in Q2, he was beaten off the line by Grönholm who topped Q2. 

On the high grip Bikernieki track, tactics came into play in Q3 with master tactician Mattias Ekström bolting on four new tyres, and with a marginally stronger start squeezed into the lead and from there he was untouchable. The Swede went on to post the fastest lap of the day - 48.443s.

With the fastest drivers (after Q2) lining-up in the final Q3 race, Robin Larsson followed his KYB Team JC teammate and bolted on four new tyres along with Niclas Grönholm who took two new front tyres

Larsson starting in fourth (outside line) slotted into the lead in turn one ahead of Grönholm, while Kristoffersson was left on the line. The double world champion recovered to third but had to get his elbows and muscled his way past Krisztian Szabo on lap one. 

And, with clean air and fresher tyres, Larsson won Q3 Race 4 ahead of Grönholm and Kristoffersson, which in the end meant. The GRX Taneco driver would edge Kristoffersson to the top qualifiers spot by two intermediate points. 

Can Johan Kristoffersson fight back after just missing out on the TQ? He certainly has a chance, as he will start on pole position for semi-final two, and with four new tyres available he stands a good chance. 

For the first time in 2020, both Monster Energy RX Cartel drivers will progress to the semi-finals despite some issues in Q2. Liam Doran finds himself in eighth ahead of Andreas Bakkerud in ninth. 

Whilst the battle for top honors is rather close at the front, bowing out after three qualifying sessions are: Timo Scheider, Anton Marklund, and the UNKORRUPTED pair of Guerlain Chicherit and Rokas Baciuska along with Ferratum Team's Jani Paasonen who suffered with engine failure in Q2.  
Written By - Junaid Samodien

Friday, 18 September 2020

PREVIEW: The forests of Bikernieki will come alive to the sound of World RX.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World RX Media. 
After four thrilling rounds, the FIA World Rallycross Championship is back! This time around the action-packed championship heads to the Latvian capital, Riga for rounds five and six.  

And, guess what? For the first time this season, spectators will be allowed to attend a World RX event, but in limited numbers though (a maximum 3000) with strict coronavirus control measures in place. 

The Neste World Rallycross of Riga features two separate FIA World Rallycross Championship events, one full event – comprising three rounds of qualifying races, semi-finals, and the final – taking place each day. 

WORLD RX CHAMPIONSHIP: 

The start to the season was initially delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic but thus far four championships rounds have been completed across two venues; Holjes (Sweden) and Kouvola (Finland). 

Returning double world champion Johan Kristoffersson has led from the front, and has established a healthy 17-point lead at the top of the championship standings, his closest rival being Mattias Ekstrom. 

Ekstrom (the 2016 World Champion) has returned to the championship this year with KYB Team JC after Jānis Baumanis was hit by financial issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Swede claimed victory at round two of the championship on home soil and has firmly cemented himself in championship contention (second-place overall). 

Earlier this week, KYB Team JC announced that Ekstrom will return for the Latvian double-header alongside Robin Larsson who is currently sixth in the championship. 

Finn Niclas Gronholm heads to Latvia with a good boost after winning his home round in Kouvola and currently holds third place in the drivers' standings. His teammate, Timur Timerzyanov who is currently in tenth-place, is hoping for better pace this weekend. 

While reigning world champion Timmy Hansen has not had the start to the season that he had expected but hopes to take steps forward this weekend after three days of testing in Sweden. Timmy and younger brother Kevin Hansen are currently in fourth and fifth place in the standings. 

Timo Scheider (ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport) claimed a third-place finish in Sweden (round 1) and is placed seventh after being in the final at three of the first four rounds. His teammate Rene Muennich has had a more difficult start to the year and is 16th after four rounds.

Andreas Bakkerud has also had a tough start to the season, but has made it to the final in rounds two and four and is eight in the standings, while his Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel teammate Liam Doran will be hoping for better fortunes in Latvia after suffering from a series of technical issues, which sees the Brit bringing up the rear in 21st place. 

GCK Bilstein's Anton Marklund had a strong start to the season in Sweden, but faded away in Kouvola, claiming an 11th and 12th place finish, which sees him currently placed ninth, while the UNKORRUPTED pairing of Rokas Baciuska and Guerlain Chicherit will be aiming for stronger results in their newly developed Renault Clio R.S. RX supercars. 

Jani Paasonen is back for more in his Ferratum Team’s Ford Fiesta as is Krisztian Szabo who raced in Sweden and holds 12th place in the standings with GRX SET.

Latvia star Reinis Nitiss will make his World RX return with ESmotorsport Eigesta WRX Team this weekend driving Skoda Fabia EVO WRX. 

ROUND FIVE - Q1 DRAW (GRID)

THE TRACK

The World RX track is constructed within the historic race circuit that threads its way through the forest at Bikernieki. Created for the 2016 World RX in Riga – the first time the championship visited Latvia – the rallycross track is 1295m in length and consists of 60% unsealed and 40% asphalt surfaces, with a track record time of 48.485s. The track includes three jumps, two of them on the joker lap. Meanwhile, the joker and standard lap runs parallel to each other.

Turn Three: This fast, wide-radius left-hander requires pure commitment but also a bit of patience. A quick exit is crucial to avoid being overtaken on the long run to a hard braking zone at turn four but the wall on the exit has caught out several drivers in the last four years.

Turn Five: It's hard to make up time here, but it's very easy to lose it. This seemingly never-ending right-hander is one of the few gravel turns on the track and anyone who gets greedy with the throttle is likely to slide wide and leave the door open for anyone lurking behind them.

The Joker Merge: It's often elbows-out at Latvia's joker exit, which is located at the final corner of the lap. Drivers on a joker lap have the inside line for the corner, but those on the standard lap can take more speed out of the turn. That often leads to side-by-side jostling to the finish line in close races!

BROADCAST TIMES and SCHEDULE for Rounds 5 & 6 of the Neste World RX of Riga-Latvia (CET):

The livestreams for the events will be carried on the official World RX Facebook page and YouTube channel:

facebook.com/fiaworldrallycross

youtube.com/RallycrossRXTV

Schedule:

Round Five (19 September 2020)

Free Practice: Saturday 7:30 am

Q1: 9:20 am

Q2: 10:45 am

Q3: 12:10 pm

Semi-Finals and Final: 15:00 pm

Round Six (20 September 2020)

Warm-Up: 8:00 am

Q1: 8:40 am

Q2: 10:10 am

Q3: 12:10 pm

Semi-Finals and Final: 15:00 pm

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Team Hansen hope "to take a step forward" in Riga.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
Team Hansen has not had the start to the season that they had hoped for after being crowned champions in 2019. However, after a 3-day test in Sweden, the team aims to take a step forward in Latvia. 

The Hansen brothers have claimed two podium finishes thus far in 2020, with Kevin picking up a second-place finish in Sweden (currently fifth place in the drivers' championship), and reigning World RX champion Timmy scoring third place in finish Finland (ranked fourth in the championship). Their combined efforts have put Team Hansen only 19 points off the top of the teams’ championship with more than half the 2020 season to go.

Latvia will mark the half-way point of this year’s World RX season, as it hosts the third double-header event of the year. 

During the three-week gap since the previous round at Kouvola (Finland), the Hansen's have been hard at work making refinements to their Peugeot 208 WRX Supercars, conducting a three-day test at Lidköpings Motorstadion with their two drivers.

"The start to this season has been a little bit difficult at times but overall it's still been a positive beginning," Timmy Hansen said. "We did a three-day test near the workshop to evaluate the areas we'd been struggling with so far this year, as well as developing some new things. Hopefully, that'll pay off this weekend."

"We've definitely done everything we can to take a step forward for now and although this season is tricky, with there not being much time between the races, the test went well, so I'm excited to see what happens this weekend."

Timmy Hansen returns to Riga, a venue with fond memories after claiming a third-place finish in 2016, and a victory in 2019, which was key to his championship fight. 

"I won here last year which was a key point in taking the world championship, so I'm excited to be coming back to Riga and see how we fare," he said. "With this being another double-header round, we need to be sharp and on the pace from the beginning, as there's no time to make any significant changes between the rounds."

With a return to a track expected to suit the team's Peugeot 208 better than the opening four rounds, the team is hoping for a first win of the year.

"Riga is a very nice track. It has suited us very well in the past; it's more of a high-grip circuit like Loheac, Abu Dhabi and Barcelona, which is the type of circuits we're best at," Kevin Hansen said. "Johan has won here twice in the past of course but I feel that we've got a good car for this track and it should suit us more compared to the tracks we've raced on so far this year."

“We've been testing recently to make improvements in specific areas and we feel like we're arriving in Riga with fewer question marks, which should hopefully bring us a little bit more performance from the first race of the weekend. It looks like it'll be a dry, warm weekend, and it's great to have fans safely back at the track for this event.

“Riga feels a bit like a street circuit; its corners are tight and twisty, with some fast stretches in between, but more than anything you need to watch out for the walls and barriers everywhere," the Swede adds. "There are plenty of run-off areas in Höljes and Kouvola but here, it's a bit like we're competing at the Monaco of rallycross."

The purpose-built Biķernieki circuit in Latvia features the longest lap of the year in both distance and time, with a lap length of 1.295km and a track record time of 48.485s.

"Riga is a bit more like circuit racing compared to what we had in the first two rounds," says  Kenneth Hansen, Team Boss. "It's a challenging track because of how different it is, with it being the longest lap of the season and also the hard jump early in the lap, which requires a delicate set-up balance between softness to cope with the landing but stiffness for grip elsewhere in the lap."

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Rytkönen to make World RX return with the Ferratum Team.

PHOTO CREDIT: ferratum Team. 
Reigning Finnish rallycross champion Juha Rytkönen will make his World RX return with the Ferratum Team at the World RX of Barcelona-Catalunya on 17-18 October. 

Rytkönen, well known for his success in the Finnish rallycross championship made his World RX debut in Kouvola two weeks ago, and impressed right off the bat having won a heat race and a semi-final, before claiming a second-place finish behind Kristoffersson in round three of the championship. 

Following on from his debut in round three, Juka won two more heat races in the Finland double-header and only failed to make the final as a result of a track limits penalty in the semi-final. 

Having driven the GRX SET team's Hyundai i20 at the World RX of Finland, Juha will return to the championship with the Ferratum Team in Barcelona behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta that Jani Paasonen has used for the first two race weekends of the 2020 season, and again this weekend in Latvia. 

Rytkönen has already tested the car in Finland last week and will return to action at the World RX of Barcelona-Catalunya.

"Rallycross requires a lot of resources, both money and partners, for a layman. I really appreciate the cooperation opportunity with Ferratum. For me, it indicates that we did the right things with our team and our hard work paid off," Rytkönen said. 

"I want to show my support to Ferratum by driving the best I can. I have always thought that this is what I want to do, and I want to be at the top. I did not expect the start to be this good, though."

"In the future, I want to establish my position in rallycross, and especially in the world championship level."

Whilst the team remains mum on further plans with the Finn, Motorsport.com has learnt that Juha is likely to complete the season with the Ferratum Team. 

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Kouvola wins gives GRX Taneco 'good boost' ahead of Latvian double-header.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World RX Media.
The condensed 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar has seen the first four rounds hosted at two venues, a truly grueling start to the season for all involved, and this is no different for GRX Taneco. 

Whilst the Finnish squad ended the 2019 season on a high note in South Africa. They expected to have a much stronger start to the 2020 season. And despite, the victory in Kouvola two weeks ago for Niclas Grönhom, the team and drivers have had their fair share of bad luck in the first four rounds of the championship, which they hope to turnaround this weekend in Riga.  

The quick turnaround times required for double-headers in 2020, has been a taxing affair for all involved including the drivers. 

"It’s been quite tough these first 4 races of the season," Niclas Grönhom said. "We have had some bad luck and struggled with the car sometimes."

Grönhom clinched his first win of the season on home soil in Kouvola by the slimmest of margins (0.3s) and admits that the race victory will give GRX Taneco a good boost ahead of the third double-header in Latvia.

"The podiums in Finland, of course, gives a good boost that our team needed, and I feel that we are well prepared for Latvia," he said. "The track in Riga is very nice and I enjoy going back there again this year!"

Timur Timerzyanov has had his fair share of misfortunes this season but managed to claim a podium finish at round four in Finland.

"The team has worked very hard over the last few weeks and we have made big steps forward and I feel that we have gotten our mojo back," Timerzyanov said.

Despite competing in World RX since it's inception in 2014, the Russian has found the Bikernieki race track in Latvia to be very challenging and was only able to claim a fifth-place finish last year. 

"Riga has always been a very challenging track for me personally, but I aim to turn my luck around and hopefully we can see another double podium," he said.

Krisztián Szabó will drive the third Hyundai i20 run by Set Promotion this weekend. And, while he did not make either of the finals in Höljes, Sweden. His form throughout the Swedish double-header was first-class. 

The Hungarian claimed a tenth-place finish in Latvia last year, in his EKS Audi S1, but will hope for stronger results this weekend.

"I really can’t wait to race again in Riga," he said "It’s a very long, fast and technical track with big jumps and a beautiful environment. I can say that this is my favorite venue of the season and it will be great to race in front of rallycross fans." 

"I had a chance to test here in the very beginning of the year with the Hyundai i20 Supercar, so I feel confident and I'm hoping for a good result."

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

20 cars set for eRX2's inaugural season in 2021.

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA eRX2 Championship.
The inaugural season of the FIA eRX2 Championship – the first-ever FIA electric rallycross championship – will see up to 20 drivers racing wheel-to-wheel for the honor of being crowned the first electric rallycross champion.

Preparations are well underway ahead of eRX2’s eagerly-anticipated debut next year, with the championship primed to electrify the international rallycross scene. Testing is well underway, and a full grid of 20 cars is scheduled to be built between now and the first race – setting the scene for an electrifying maiden campaign of competition.

eRX2 will join the FIA World Rallycross Championship for six events in 2021 – with the calendar to be released in due course – the cars will mark a significant step forward in both power (+24%) and torque (+14%) compared to the existing Supercar Lites car, further bridging the gap to the headlining Supercar class.

"We are delighted to be able to reveal more details about the new FIA eRX2 Championship, which has already attracted a high degree of interest. Our testing programme is yielding very positive results, and the car is showing its potential to be even quicker and more exhilarating both to drive and to watch than the existing internal combustion vehicle," Pere Gonzalez, Project Manager for the FIA eRX2 Championship, said. 

"We understand that there are some misgivings – and misapprehensions – about electric rallycross, but our extensive experience and success in electro-mobility leaves us very confident that this is absolutely the way forward for the sport and that the final product will be the most dynamic, advanced and future-thinking car ever to grace a rallycross track.

"Not only that, but with drivers able to play a greater role than before in setting up and calibrating the car, even a few seconds before starting the races, the action is sure to be fast, exciting and thrillingly unpredictable – a true level playing field in which the cream will inevitably rise to the top," he adds.

In a first for rallycross – drivers will have three key parameters to play with before and between races, injecting an extra element of skill into the equation. 

From inside the cockpit, competitors will be able to manually adjust the amount of torque produced by the front and rear motors, the total torque deployed by all four wheels during the launch, and the degree of regenerative braking on the front and rear axles.

On the outside, the noise will be generated by the drivetrain running at more than 12,000rpm as well as the gravel spray and tyre squeals so synonymous with rallycross..

The total cost to enter a full season of eRX2 in 2021 is between €150,000 and €160,000, which includes the provision of one mechanic per car – trained in electro-mobility by sector specialist QEV Technologies – and a comprehensive engineering service, composed of one chassis engineer and one electric engineer for every four cars.

Charging, tyres, and other consumables such as brake pads are included in the full-season cost. Hospitality will also form part of the package, as will regular educational workshops on electric technology. The cost to enter a single event is €30.000.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Henrik Krogstad will be one of the first drivers to race in the new FIA eRX2 Championship in 2021 as prize for winning the 2020 RX2 International Series.

Written By - Junaid Samodien

Ekström to continue championship charge with KYB Team JC

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
2016 World Champion Mattias Ekström will continue with KYB Team JC this weekend, at the Latvian double-header in Riga. 

Ekström was drafted into the team just before the first rounds of the season in Höljes after Jānis Baumanis was hit by financial issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week, Ekström was announced as the first driver for the new Cupra-backed Abt Extreme E team for 2021, and he will continue to race with KYB Team JC after being given permission by Cupra to race in the Latvian double-header this weekend.

"It’s been a pretty cool week for me, with the launch of the Extreme E programme with CUPRA for 2021," Ekström said. "That’s really exciting, and big thanks to ABT and CUPRA for allowing me to go to Riga for the next World RX races."

The Swede's return after a one-year hiatus has been first-class having won the second round of the championship in Höljes, and lies second in the Drivers' Championship only 17 points behind Johan Kristofferssson.   

"The first four races turned out pretty fine with three podiums, so being second in the championship and to be leading the Teams’ Championship, I’m in a situation I didn’t expect," the double world champion said. "I felt a bit obliged to do my very best to go to Riga, I want to continue supporting the JC team as much as I can."

In his three previous starts in Riga, Ekström finished second in the final every time (2016,17,18) and will aim to climb onto the top step of the podium this weekend.  

"We are very happy to have Mattias back in the team," said Joel Christoffersson, KYB Team JC, Team Principal. "I didn’t know if it would be possible for him to come to Latvia, but I’m thankful to CUPRA for letting us have him in the team for the event. It’s great that we can continue with the same team setup that we have had so far this year because we were very successful in the first two weekends of the season."

Whilst Joel Christoffersson has one eye on World RX Teams' Championship, he admits that KYB Team JC are aiming to close the gap to Kristoffersson in an aim to claim both World RX titles this season.

"I’m looking forward to continuing the fight for the Teams’ Championship but obviously, we are second in the Drivers’ Championship too and we are not giving up that fight in trying to do our best to close the gap up to Johan [Kristoffersson]," he said.

Written By - Junaid Samodien