Following the opening round of the 2022 campaign at Hell in Norway - three weeks ago, the FIA World Rallycross Championship is on the move once again, and this time the championship heads to one of the best venues on the calendar for a double dose of action this weekend at the Ferratum World RX of Rīga-Latvia.
PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
The Biķernieki trase (circuit) located on the outskirts of Latvia's capital city, Rīga, was introduced to the calendar in 2016, with it's high-grip asphalt placing a firm focus on tyre strategy, and it's unforgiving barriers that line the track.
Latvia is happy hunting ground for defending champion Johan Kristoffersson - who kick started he's fourth title charge 12 months ago.
This weekend, the Swede returns, and this time around he is not 20 points behind the Hansen brothers, instead he is leading the championship standings having claimed a record 28th career victory in Norway earlier this month.
|Round 1 winner Johan Kristoffersson|
PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Niclas Grönholm, who was the man to beat a year ago in Latvia returns with new team-mate Klara Andersson at the Construction Equipment Dealer Team. It was evident that the PWR RX1e machines lacked some pace to the Polo's and Peugeots. Marcus Gronholm also admitted that he's son was struggling to adapt he's driving style, whilst Andersson was exceptional on debut.
After a few years out of the championship, Ole Christian Veiby made an impressive return with a top three finish in the second Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS Polo. The Norwegian will be discovering a new track this weekend - the Bikernieki trase.
The third Volkswagen Polo RX1e driven by Gustav Bergstrom has some pace to find to challenge in the front runners, whilst Rene Munnich in the All-Inkl Munnich Motorsport Seat Ibiza finally got some mileage under he's belt in Norway after missing the pre-season test.
The Bikerieki trase opens the opportunity for more action-packed racing this weekend, with it's tight turn-one, but trying to guess who will reign supreme in Latvia is anyone's guess.
Having had one race weekend to gain some important information on set-up and performance - teams will take a step forward, and we can not wait to see who will triumph on Saturday and Sunday.
THE PERMANENT TEAMS:
Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS: Johan Kristoffersson and Ole Christian Veiby
Hansen World RX Team: Timmy Hansen and Kevin Hansen
Construction Equipment Dealer Team: Niclas Gronholm and Klara Andersson (first gender equal team.)
THE CIRCUIT - BIKERNIEKI TRASE, LATVIA.
The Qualifying heats will be renamed Heat 1, Heat 2, Heat 3 instead of Q1, Q2, Q3. There will be three heats only as opposed to the four that have existed over the last eight years. Heat 1 starting positions will be decided following a “Superpole” timed session instead of a draw.
Heat 4 will be replaced by a “Progression Race” to add one more decisive stage in the progress of the event towards access to the Semi-Finals. Starting position distribution for this Progression Race will be determined according to ranking after the 3 Heats. The Final phase remains with Semi-Finals and a Final, but with five-car starts. The highest qualified driver will have a free of starting position. Other changes include five laps in all races (Qualifying, Progression Race, Semi-Finals, Final) and no use of the Joker Lap allowed in Lap 1 if the Joker Lap is in Corner No.1.
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (for 2022 onwards):
Championship points will be awarded based on the final classification on the Competition on the following basis:
1st: 20 points
2nd: 16 points
3rd: 13 points
4th: 12 points
5th: 11 points
6th: 10 points
7th: 9 points
8th: 8 points
9th: 7 points
10th: 6 points
11th: 5 points
12th: 4 points
13th: 3 points
14th: 2 point
15th: 1 point
- The Teams’ Championship is open to World Championship teams fielding two cars, and includes all points scored by both of the team’s drivers at each event.
World RX Entry List - Ferratum World RX of Rīga-Latvia 2022