Monday 31 May 2021

What does the future hold for Andreas Bakkerud?

PHOTO CREDIT: GC Kompetition.
Love him? Or love him? Yeah! There’s only one real option. Why? Because Andreas Bakkerud is one of the most loved drivers in rallycross, and not having him in top-flight rallycross would be rather disappointing. 

After a grueling 2019 World RX season, Andreas walked away as the runner-up, which isn’t the best feeling when you finish the season on level points, with your rival. But despite the disappointment, he returned in 2020, this time in a PRODRIVE developed Renault Megane R.S. RX Supercar, which might not have been the easiest car to get to grips with from the offset, but he kept chipping away. 

In the season finale (in Barcelona), the Norwegian came very close to leading the final and even had the pace to fight for the win, but unfortunately, his race ended in the barrier before deflecting into the path of Robin Larsson. His final result was seventh overall in the championship standings. 

The 29-year-old has competed in World RX since its inception back in 2014, and has raced in his fair share of teams – his RX career kicked off at Olsbergs MSE. He then moved over to the Hoonigan Racing division with Ken Block before moving to EKS RX, but following their departure at the end of the 2018 season. Andreas was left without a seat, he then became a team principal and driver after hiring two Audi S1 Quattro Supercars from the EKS squad. 

Whilst money keeps the world spinning, it also helps keep aspiring sports professionals within their sport. Seeking sponsors or should we say partners, is never an easy task. So, building a reputation is always important, as it attracts respective partners. But things became a lot more challenging with the COVID-19 pandemic, as companies have their money tied up. 

Andreas Bakkerud climbing the kerb in his STARD electric Ford Fiesta.
PHOTO CREDIT: Andreas Bakkerud.
The 2021 World RX campaign will get underway next month (in June) with eight rounds in Europe, but the identity of the field remains relatively unknown, with two teams confirmed. EKS JC and Motorsport have committed to the World RX championship thus far. 

So, with that being said, will we see Andreas Bakkerud return to World Rallycross in 2021 or will he sign up for the Nitro Rallycross series? It’s a bit of an unknown right now! Speaking at the RallyX Nordic double-header in Sweden, the Norwegian confirmed that he is currently working on plans for the 2021 season. 

“[I am] still working on it. I wish I could tell you something, but it's still very much up in the air, and it’s very much moving around [constantly]. It’s a positive and negative,” Bakkerud said. “The good thing is the phone is ringing all the time and things are changing.”

“In the World RX championship, Nitro RX, and in the RallyX Nordic series things are happening, but we are seeing changes from naturally aspirated cars to electric cars and also the Covid-19 situation on top of it.”

“It’s very hard for us, the drivers because everything is changing from one week to another,” he adds.

Bakkerud made his return to competitive racing two weeks ago in the RallyX Nordic series behind the wheel of a STARD all-electric Ford Fiesta, and his pace was quite impressive. He beat a few internal combustion-powered Supercars along the way. 

For now… Andreas Bakkerud's future is uncertain, but we certainly do hope that he returns to competitive rallycross in 2021! 

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