Fresh off the back of a third-place finish in the FIA European Rallycross Championship curtain-raiser at Höljes just over a week ago, Andreas Bakkerud returns with ESMotorsport at the Bretagne World RX of Lohéac this weekend.
PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Championship
The Norwegian is eager to build on the momentum from round one, this weekend at Lohéac – a scene of two prior podium finishes at World Championship level and Euro RX victories in 2012 and 2013.
Bakkerud will replace Aleš Fučík at the ESMotorsport for the French round.
"I’m stoked to be back in Euro RX1 again for Lohéac!" Bakkerud said. "It was awesome to return to racing at Höljes. I don’t like things being so last-minute like that, but I would always rather be a last-minute entry than staying at home on my sofa watching on the TV – that was a horrible feeling during the Barcelona weekend."
"I’m so thankful to ESMotorsport and all of my partners for making that happen – and now for Lohéac and Riga too. And in any case, my sofa is sold now so I guess I can’t stay home anymore...
"We took some big steps forward before the final in Sweden, and I think that showed with third place and fastest lap, which is really encouraging going forward – and we certainly need to be absolutely on top of our game, because the level in Euro RX1 this year is extremely high," he adds.
"I’ve raced against Thomas Bryntesson since back in our karting days, and he is one of the best drivers I’ve ever known. Unfortunately, he’s never had the budget to compete in the World Championship, but he’s definitely got the pace to do so. The same can be said for the Dubourgs – the effort DA Racing puts in and the professionalism of that team is really impressive. Then there are the Pailler brothers – every time I jump into esports to do some laps, they’re always there getting some extra practice in!"
The 2019 Vice-Champion has also confirmed his interest in participating in the World Championship with ESMotorsport in Portugal later this year.
"From my experience of working with them so far, ESMotorsport is similarly a top team and one with great potential for the future," he said. "With that in mind, I’m keen to test the Škoda against the World Championship guys at some stage this season as well – maybe Portugal could be a possibility – but first, let’s focus on Lohéac."
ESMotorsport Team Manager Robertas Maneikis is delighted to have extended the relationship with Andreas Bakkerud after achieving the teams' first podium in Euro RX1.
"The whole team has been lifted by Andreas’ result, but we are well aware that it will not be easy moving forward and we still keep finding small details on the car to improve its pace," Maneikis said. "We hope that we can complete the whole Euro RX1 season with Andreas to find even more synergy with the team for a bigger future next year."