Wednesday 6 March 2019

World RX unveils a 16-car entry list for 2019 season

PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media
The list of permanent drivers entered for this season's FIA World Rallycross Championship has been released, where six two-car teams and four individual entries will contest all 10 rounds of the championship.

A total of 16 permanent drivers representing eight automotive brands will battle for World RX title, in what has been billed as the most competitive season yet. 

The entry list features some familiar names among teams and drivers and offers the chance for a number of young guns to make their mark in the championship. 

Likely to have strong claims on the title, is the eye-catching pairing of Liam Doran and World RX front-runner Andreas Bakkerud who join forces in Audi S1 Quattro Supercars in the newly-formed Monster Energy RX Cartel team

The Hansen brothers, Timmy and Kevin, sons of Kenneth, the most successful rallycross driver to date with 14 FIA European Rallycross titles, will compete in a pair of Peugeot 208s under the Team Hansen MJP banner. 

In 2018, Timmy, finished a solid sixth in the 2018 world championship, while Kevin was highly impressive en route to eighth place last year. 

Marcus Gronholm’s GRX Taneco team will field a pair of Hyundai i20s for the highly-experienced Timur Timerzyanov who is joined on the regular team roster by Niclas Gronholm. 

Niclas will seek to build on his impressive 2018 season in which he made the final four times and was clearly best of the non-factory drivers.

Reinis Nitiss will combine development driver duties for GRX Taneco with appearances at selected rounds – the first of which is likely to be the World RX of Abu Dhabi next month.

Building on their successful debut season in 2018, the French outfit GC Kompetition will field four permanent drivers in 2019.

Team owner Guerlain Chicherit, is joined by former European Rallycross Champion Anton Marklund of Sweden in Renault Megane R.S. RX Supercars.

As part of an initiative to create a pathway for promising junior rallycross talent, in the sister GCK Academy team - RX2 graduates Cyril Raymond of France and Belgium’s Guillaume De Ridder - will be at the wheel of Renault Clios. 

As first revealed in January, Latvia’s Janis Baumanis will represent Austrian team STARD in a Ford Fiesta, supported by Ford Performance. He will be joined in a second STARD car with a driver yet to be named. 

The four individual entries will compete for the drivers’ title but do not claim team points.

Britain’s Oliver Bennett, who competed in selected World RX and ARX events in 2018, will pilot the Xite Racing Mini Cooper in his first full world championship season.

Former DTM champion Timo Scheider, who made a series of World RX outings in 2018 for ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport, carries the German team’s hopes for the entire season in an all-new Seat Ibiza. He will be joined by team owner Rene Munnich at selected events. 

Krisztian Szabo competes for EKS Sport, winners of both the drivers’ and teams’ titles in 2016. The Hungarian will drive a Audi S1 Quattro Supercar.

19-year-old Lithuanian Rokas Bacisuka, the current FIA European Rallycross Champion in Super 1600, and will drive for ESmotorsport – Labas Gas in their newly built and developed Skoda Fabia Supercar.

In addition to the competitive entry list, Paul Bellamy, Senior Vice President of IMG Motorsports (World RX promoters) has revealed that the 2019 season will also see increased connectivity with fans. 

“We will continue to innovate in 2019 by extending our live streaming offer as we seek to broaden our fan appeal,” said Bellamy

 “Last season we attracted over 400,000 views per race weekend on live streaming and our social media presence continues to grow. The nature of World RX, short, all-action races, the longest of which is just over five minutes, is very enticing for younger fans in this time-poor world we live in.”

TEXT BY - Junaid Samodien @JunaidSamodien_

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