Friday, 2 July 2021

Budgetary issues sidelines Bakkerud from permanent entry in 2021.

Earlier this week, the FIA formally confirmed the entry list for the 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship, and it was clear that one name was absent. That name, Andreas Bakkerud. 

It's quite mind-boggling, as the 29-year-old competed in every season of the World RX championship to date since its inception in 2014, but due to the effects of the global pandemic. He has been unable to find the required budget for a full-time return in 2021. 

Andreas Bakkerud is one of the most loved drivers in the rallycross, not only for his winning mentality, but also because of his personality and charm. Which, will surely be missed, as the FIA World Rallycross Championship gets underway in Barcelona later this month. 

With the Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately, businesses have had to change their outlook on cash flow, and this has had a knock-off effect for athletes globally and drivers alike. Whilst Andreas is one of the names we will miss this season. Another driver who will not for part of the full-time entry list is none other than the inaugural World RX of Benelux winner Timur Timerzyanov, which is also had to grasp. 

We've seen this scenario play out last year, as Janis Baumanis who was set to drive for KYB Team JC was forced to step aside to budgetary issues. 

If we are to take a look back to 2018 after EKS RX withdrew from the championship, Andreas was left without a season. So, in order to make the grid the following season, with hard work, he was able to collaborate with Liam Doran, and the RX Cartel was formed. The team hired two Audi's from EKS which ended with Andreas and Timmy Hansen finish level on points, with a countback of victories deciding the champion.

A year later, JC Raceteknik purchased the two Audi S1 Quattro Supercars from EKS RX, and the RX Cartel had to look elsewhere. They sealed a deal with GC Kompetition to race, two Renault Megane R.S.RX cars, but unfortunately, the car wasn't competitive from the offset, despite Andreas reaching the semi-final and finals on a number of occasions. 

Moving on to 2021, unfortunately, as stated earlier Andreas Bakkerud will not return in 2021, and he explains, why? "[My career path is] between motorsport going to electric and everything that's going on in the world with Covid-19," he said.

"What I'm trying to explain is that after 11 years where I've entered international championships. This is my first year where I haven't signed any deal with any team with any championship for me personally that's a big bummer," Bakkerud explains. "I would definitely love to be entered into a championship especially the FIA World Rallycross Championship, which I'm trying desperately to win every year and I haven't still succeeded closes with 2019 where we ended at the same point as Timmy Hansen who won the championship where we lost on amount of wins during the year."  

"So, yeah it's a big bummer to sit here and explain to you all that we're missing out on the championship. I've been working flat to manage to make it happen, but I've finally decided that will not do it due to the economy and it is due to budget. If we had a big budget we would definitely look into it, but my feeling is that I didn't want to take a bigger risk than that I can and so that's why I'm here trying to explain to you guys that will race in the championship."

Having explained why he won't be on the grid in 2021. The Norwegian tries to shed some light on what his future could potentially be. 

"I have a strong belief that when one door closes another one opens up, but who knows maybe I'm doing the Dakar next year, or maybe I'm coming back to Rallycross," he said. 

"It's very hard to say that one thing is for sure that I am missing a new Norwegian championship gold in my closet so and this year is the Norwegian karting championship at my home track in Bergen [Norway], so that's something that I'm actually the only thing I have on my calendar this year and yeah I am going to try to do some rallycross hopefully this year. Maybe some single event entries. Thus far I haven't signed into any championship, so I'm very open." 

Andreas has made it very clear that he has not quit and he'll be "coming back very soon!"

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