History made, as rising star Klara Andersson and multiple race winner Niclas Grönholm join forces at Construction Equipment Dealer Team (CE Dealer Team) with first-ever full-season gender driver line-up for the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
PHOTO CREDIT: CE Dealer Team
New on the grid in 2022, the CE Dealer Team confirmed its participation last week, with a multi-year commitment to the championship and a pledge to prioritize sustainability, diversity and inclusivity alongside sporting success.
This morning, the Swedish squad formally confirmed driver line-up for the season, Andersson and Grönholm – with the former becoming the first permanent female competitor since the World Championship’s inception eight years ago.
Klara, the younger sister of Euro RX TouringCar event-winner Magda Andersson, made her rallycross debut in 2018 and defeated no fewer than 55 male rivals to clinch the 2021 Swedish Rallycross Championship, in the 2150 class.
The Sweden Junior National Team member went on to contest two rounds of the inaugural FIA RX2e Championship, impressing with a fourth-place finish first time out at Spa-Francorchamps.
"I am very proud to become the first female full-season World RX driver – this is by far the most inspiring thing I have done in my life. I have a lot to learn, but my long-term goal is to become the first female World Rallycross Champion," Andersson said.
"I have an unconditional love for rallycross; it’s so intense and unpredictable, and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel for pre-season testing. While I have rallycross experience, World RX and the awesome 500kW (680bhp) electric beasts that we will race are new to me and none of us are expecting to get anything for free – we have plenty of hard work ahead of us to establish ourselves at the top."
Grönholm is one of the most accomplished drivers in World RX, with multiple race wins to his name, three of which came last year.
In 2019, the Finn fell just 25 points shy of the title despite missing two rounds due to appendicitis, as he achieved the highest points-per-event tally in the field. He concluded the 2021 season in a career-best third.
"I am honoured and extremely inspired by getting this opportunity with CE Dealer Team, and I think we have strong conditions to fight for the very top. We need to work very hard for each round and while the team is a new set-up, we have a lot of combined experience and I think we can spring some surprises this year," Grönholm said.
Operated by PWR RX and headed up by experienced Team Manager Jussi Pinomäki, CE Dealer Team will join defending title-holders Hansen Motorsport, Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS, ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport, GCK Motorsport and ESmotorsport in the fray in 2022. All teams are currently finalising the development of the ultra-powerful, fully electric cars that will do battle for glory over the coming months.
"CE Dealer Team and its partners strive for gender equality, and our programme is a key part in driving this shift via Klara and Niclas. They complement each other well in terms of raw talent and experience, and we are confident we have a robust set-up that will enable our long-term goal of fighting for the FIA World Rallycross Championship titles," Jussi Pinomäki, Team Manager, CE Dealer Team, said.
"With that said, the competition in World RX is extremely tough and we are humble to the task ahead of us with this new challenge, so we will work calmly and methodically towards our goals."