The iconic Spa-Francorchamps will welcome the electrifying FIA World Rallycross Championship for rounds six and seven of the current campaign, as the battle for glory heat ups.
|PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool|
Last year’s Spa winner Johan Kristoffersson currently leads the way as he hunts for a fifth World Championship crown, but while the Swede’s record of four victories out of five this season might look daunting for the opposition, the statistics do not tell the full story.
At Montalegre last time out, it was Niclas Grönholm who claimed the Construction Equipment Dealer Team’s breakthrough World RX triumph, as Kristoffersson was penalized for a clash with Timmy Hansen.
The 2019 Champion came off worse in a clash with Johan on the second day in Portugal after taking the lead at the start of the final, while his younger brother overtook the four-time world champion not just once but twice during the course of a single race.
The Hansen World RX Team could – and arguably should – have won both rounds a fortnight earlier in Rīga too, so they will be motivated indeed to open their victory account for the year in Belgium.
With four podium finishes from five starts since making his return to World RX, Ole Christian Veiby has been getting ever-closer to his Kristoffersson Motorsport team-mate, and with the potent Volkswagen RX1e underneath him, the Norwegian – now up to second in the standings – will undoubtedly be in the mix for silverware again this weekend.
|Ole Christian Veiby leads Kevin Hansen in Portugal.|
PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
Gustav Bergström has continued to impress with he's lightning launches – and two final appearances to-date demonstrate that he is clearly benefitting from the tutelage of Kristoffersson and Veiby alongside him.
In much the same way, Klara Andersson has been making waves of her own, advancing to the final on her series debut in Hell and racing to an historic podium finish at Montalegre. That result will surely fire her up for a repeat performance at Spa, where she first joined the World Championship package 12 months ago, impressing with a fourth-place finish in RX2e.
René Münnich completes the field in his SEAT Ibiza RX1e. The German – who both runs and drives for the team is getting closeer to the outright pace with every event.
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 CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER - JOHAN KRISTOFFERSSON:
"We are carrying lots of points into this event so we are not in a position to take any big risks. The first turn is a bit hazardous, can be risky on the outside and on the inside there is a concrete wall. All our drivers are up to it and the cars are working well. We have now had races with high and low grip, dry and wet surface. We don't seem to have an Achilles heel."
THE CIRCUIT: CIRCUIT SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS (BELGIUM)
The challenging, purpose-built 913m track located at the heart of the famous Ardennes venue is characterised by significant elevation changes and incorporates one of the most iconic corners in world motorsport, not to mention the ultimate test of bravery – the daunting Eau Rouge.
The spectacular ascent of the Raidillon and its 15% gradient is followed by a tight hairpin bend, before cars hurtle back down towards Eau Rouge. There is also a stadium section that features an extra-wide, banked corner designed to allow drivers to adopt various racing lines. There are parallel jumps in the standard and Joker Laps.
The amphitheatre atmosphere around the circuit offers fans a full view of the action from wherever they are watching.
TRACK LENGTH: 913m
PREVIEW WINNER (2021) - Round 6: Johan Kristoffersson (KYB EKS JC)
FASTEST LAP: Johan Kristoffersson 30.672 (in semi-finals)
JOKER LAP LOSS: 2s seconds (approximately)
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.
THE 2021 WORLD RX OF BENELUX RESULTS (FINAL)
1) Johan Kristoffersson (KYB EKS JC) 3:10.857
2) Kevin Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) + 2.601s
3) Krisztián Szabó (GRX-SET World RX Team) + 5.338s
4) Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) + 5.663s
5) Enzo Ide (KYB EKS JC) + 6.119s
6) Anton Marklund (Hedströms Motorsport) + 6.648s
World RX Entry List - Benelux World RX of Spa-Francorchamps
*GCK Motorsport’s Lancia Delta Evo-e will not be ready to race in Hell due to the extensive development work required to incorporate the new technology into the car, it will appear on-track in World RX later in the season.
*The second All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Seat Ibiza RX1e is currently being built.
2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship Standings (Drivers):
Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) 91 points
Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) 70 pts
Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) 66 pts
Kevin Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) 62 pts
Niclas Gronholm (CE Dealer Team) 60 pts
Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team) 52 pts
Gustav Bergstrom (Kristoffersson Motorsport) 50 pts
Rene Munnich (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport) 44 pts
2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship Standings (Teams):
Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS 161 points
Hansen World RX Team 128 pts
Construction Equipment Dealer Team 112 pts
ROUNDS 6 AND 7 - BENELUX WORLD RX OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS (CAT TIMES).
HEAT 1: 12:10
HEAT 2: 13:40
PROGRESSION RACE: 15:12
SEMI-FINALS AND FINAL: (from) 17:00
GRID WRAP UP SHOW: 18:00 [RX+ only]
HEAT 1: 11:10
HEAT 2: 13:25
PROGRESSION RACE: 15:05
SEMI-FINALS AND FINAL: (from) 17:00
GRID WRAP UP SHOW: 18:00 [RX+ only]
All of the on-track entertainment and off-track features will be broadcast live on RX+. Event passes are available for €7,99, with the full season pass on sale for €49,99. More information can be found here.