Thursday 29 June 2023

WORLD RX PREVIEW: Can anyone stop Kristoffersson's supremacy at the 'Magic Weekend' in Höljes?

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Having reigned supreme in the opening two rounds of the 2023 season, attention now turns to the 'Magic Weekend' in Höljes, where reigning champion Johan Kristoffersson will once again be the favourite as he chases a sixth world championship crown. 

"I couldn't have had a better start to the season. We've been fast on two very different types of circuits, so I feel very comfortable. But things can turn around quickly so I have to stay very focused," the reigning champion said. "We haven't competed with electric cars in Höljes before. We practiced there last year, before Hell, but there has been lots of development on the cars since then. It's going to be interesting to see how fast we can be around the circuit this time."

The Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS driver currently holds a 13-point advantage over closest rival Niclas Grönholm in the drivers’ classification.

"I am looking forward to Höljes, a track I think everybody would like to win on. It is going to be tough competition, like always. It is probably one of the most challenging tracks to set up everything one hundred percent right. Hopefully, continue to score good results in front of our fans and partners," Grönholm said.

Kristoffersson will face stiff opposition, however, not least from countryman Hansen (Hansen World RX Team), as he strives to kick-start his season following accidents that have uncharacteristically kept him out of the final in both rounds so far.

“The season clearly hasn’t started too well for us and we’re not in the position we had hoped to be, but we definitely took a step forward in terms of pace last time out and I’m excited to see if we can carry that forward,” Hansen said. “I’m not in the mood to hold anything back – I’m just going to send it!”

With the event universally known as the ‘Magic Weekend’, Hansen knows the entertainment won’t be limited to just the track, with fans already setting up camp in ‘Happy Street’, ready to party the night away once the racing ends each day.

“There’s a huge festival atmosphere,” he reveals, “and competing in front of so many people on home soil is just an incredible feeling that we don’t get anywhere else.”

Kevin Hansen followed his older brother across the line for a one-two finish in 2021, and the Swedish squad will be eager to repeat that result two years on. Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team) sits an impressive fourth in the standings as she prepares to make her maiden appearance at Höljes in World RX, while WRC record man Sébastien Loeb – returning to the circuit for the first time since 2018 – is set to thrill fans behind the wheel of Special ONE Racing’s Lancia Delta Evo-e RX.

THE TRACK: Höljes Motorstadion


Along with the previous round at Höljes, Lohéac is widely considered one of the two ‘crown jewel’ events of World Rallycross. Unlike Höljes though, it’s less technical and less undulating.

That doesn’t mean the 1.07-kilometer track lacks a punch – rather the track is not forgiving for those who stray even slightly off-line or brake a little too late. And if it rains, all bets are off – the second half of the lap will become highly unpredictable.


Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - VW Polo RX1e

Sebastien Loeb (Special ONE Racing) - Lancia Delta Evo-e RX

Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - Peugeot 208 RX1e

Niclas Gronholm (CE Dealer Team) - PWR RX1e

Kevin Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - Peugeot 208 RX1e

Guerlain Chicherit (Special ONE Racing) - Lancia Delta Evo-e RX

Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - VW Polo RX1e

Gustav Bergstrom (Kristoffersson Motorsport) - VW Polo RX1e

Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team) - PWR RX1e

Timo Scheider (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport) SEAT Ibiza RX1e

Round 3 - World RX of Sweden (CAT Times)

HEAT 1: 14:19
HEAT 2: 16:19

WARM-UP: 10:05
HEAT 3: 11:05
HEAT 4: 13:40
GRID WRAP-UP SHOW: 17:00 [RX+ only]

1) Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - 46 POINTS

2) Niclas Gronholm (CE Dealer Team) - 33

3) Kevin Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - 24

4) Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team) - 23

5) Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - 22

6) Sebastien Loeb (Special ONE Racing) - 21

7) Timo Scheider (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport) - 20

8) Guerlain Chicherit (Special ONE Racing) - 17

9) Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - 16

10) Gustav Bergstrom (Kristoffersson Motorsport) - 14

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Cape Town E-Prix organizer "cautiously optimistic" despite omission from provisional 2024 calendar.

PHOTO CREDIT: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship
The FIA World Motor Sport Council [WMSC] on Tuesday published the provisional draft calendar for Season 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with the notable omission of Cape Town

The local promoters of the Cape Town E-Prix - the City of Cape Town and E-Movement had agreed on a five-plus-five-year contract with a vision for a long-term future. 

And, whilst the inaugural race on the streets of the picturesque Green Point precinct was a tremendous success, the omission of the Cape Town race on the 2024 calendar might raise a few eyebrows, but rest assured that work is being done to secure the race's immediate future. 

Formula E Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Alberto Longo has confirmed that advanced discussions are underway with the Cape Town promoters to finalise the season 10 calendar. 

"Formula E Operations (FEO) is in advanced discussions with Cape Town and many more cities who are keen to host a Formula E race. FEO expects to make more exciting calendar announcements following the next FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting, later this year," Longo said. 

Iain Banner, E-Movement Chairman, and Promoter said: “Having just completed 2023, we are busy working on the guarantees for 2024. We are cautiously optimistic about completing this process by the end of July”.

The inaugural Cape Town E-Prix saw two iconic moments: Firstly, Frenchman Sacha Fenestraz [Nissan] claiming his maiden pole position, and secondly, TAG HEUER Porsche's Antonio Felix da Costa, claiming victory after pulling off an audacious overtake on Jean-Eric Vergne to loud applause from the Cape Town spectators. 

Following the successful race, a study was conducted by Nielsen Sports, which examined the economic impact of the 2023 Cape Town E-Prix, and found that the race generated R1.084bn in economic activity and drew nearly R70m in media value globally, making the Formula E event one of the biggest economic impact and global media exposure events hosted in the city in the last 10 years.

Hyderabad, which had also hosted its first race in February earlier this year, has also not appeared on the provisional calendar. The all-electric championship has, however, announced a new addition for season 10, Formula E will race on the streets of Tokyo, Japan in March next year [see the provisional calendar below]. 

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Special ONE Racing in search of key to unlock more pace from Delta Evo-e, despite podium finish in Norway.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
The long journey to return a former motorsport iconic to competitive form has begun, as Special ONE Racing looks to unlock more pace from their Lancia Delta Evo-e RX. 

Eight months ago, GCK Motorsport unveiled its plan to return to the FIA World Rallycross Championship with the iconic Lancia Delta Integrale, "a vehicle that made us all dream. It is a rally car par excellence - without a double the most incredible of its era - one that remains hugely popular to this day," Guerlain Chicherit, Special ONE Racing driver and team founder said.

Having made its debut on German soil last November [2022], the Lancia Evo-e RX immediately showed some promise, but after a 16 G impact against a wall after contact at turn two. The damage took some time to repair, and thus Sunday [day 2] was instead used as a test session.

The Lancia Delta has returned in 2023, this time with Special ONE Racing, a team founded by Guerlain Chicherit, a Dakar Rally driver and former freeskiing champion. But what's more iconic about the team this year, is the bringing together of two "L's" - Sebastien Loeb and the Lancia Delta.

"I’m from a generation that was brought up seeing wins by Lancia Deltas in rallying, so naturally I have a weakness for this car," Loeb said. "When Guerlain spoke to me the first time about tackling a rallycross season with it, I thought he was mad! Then I tried the car last December and was immediately won over by its dynamic qualities. I have great faith in this project and I can’t wait to champion it on tracks around the world."

The Frenchman to date has made the finals on both occasions, with a sixth-place finish in Portugal, and a fifth-place in Hell, Norway, but the team has some catching up to do. 

Sébastien Lesonneur, Team Manager of Special ONE Racing, explains: "We don't have data on every circuit in the championship because the regulations limit us to eight days of private testing per year, with power limited to 350 instead of 500 kW. We're starting from a bit further back than our rivals who came here last year. That's the game."

Despite the project being in its infancy, Sébastien Loeb set the third-fastest time on Saturday [last week] behind the dominant Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS team. The same can not be said for Guerlain Chicherit, who finished 10th in the SuperPole session. 

Chicherit was on for a second-place finish in Heat 2 on Saturday, but unfortunately, made the mistake of activating the "paddock mode button on the final lap, and finishing last. The error impacted the Frenchman's weekend, as he would line up in the last position for Heat 3. A very difficult deficit to overcome. The French driver was unable to make up this deficit before the semi-finals, where his weekend came to an end.

"We did some very good runs this weekend. The braking is incredible with this car. On the other hand, we're finding it harder to get traction coming out of corners. We spin a lot. We've tried different set-ups, but we haven't really found the key," Chicherit said. "We've still got a bit of work to do if we want to get on the podium, but we're working on it."

Whilst team-mate Loeb's Sunday wasn't all plain sailing either. Slightly trapped by the Kristoffersson Motorsport drivers at the start of Heat 4, he managed to snatch a position for the final, but from the third row, a position that didn't allow him to fight for the podium.

"We arrived here with a better level than in Portugal. But in rallycross, the success of a weekend can be decided by very little, and a single bad start often compromises what happens next. We're still in the final once again... But starting from the third row isn't easy. We're continuing to understand things about the car and I'm getting more and more comfortable with its balance," Loeb said.

Can the Lancia Delta name/brand return to winning ways? They sure can, but that can only truly happen once they unlock the untapped potential of their new car. 

The Hansen's endure nightmare weekend in Hell.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
The Hansen brothers have endured a weekend to forget in Hell, Norway, at the second round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, following incidents on track for both Kevin and Timmy.

Having made steps to close the gap to the front of the order following the opening round of the season in Portugal two weeks earlier, the Hansen World RX Team entered the weekend in Hell with high hopes.

"We found speed and some surprises to us that helped us move forward, but the ending was not good - first with Timmy’s incident and then with Kevin’s puncture. It’s just one of those weekends, but now we are only looking forward to try and start on a new platform at the next races to get closer to the top. We will continue to work with that objective," Kenneth Hansen, Hansen Motorsport Team Principal, said.

Changes to the all-electric Peugeot 208 RX1e machines through the Norwegian encounter also improved the performance step-by-step on the hillside circuit, as round-one podium finisher Kevin Hansen set the second-best time in Heat 1, with teammate Timmy Hansen third overall, to get qualifying underway.

Never making it to pole position and the favored inside spot on the grid, the Hansen brothers several times tried an outside move in the opening corner and Kevin Hansen finished second in the Ranking order after Heat 4.

Timmy Hansen's Peugeot rebounded after hitting a bump, and ultimately blue-lighting the Kriesel battery upon landing.
But for Timmy Hansen, his weekend was cut short in Heat 4. Pushed onto the grass over the finish line while trying to overtake another car, and leaped into the air. When it landed, the Blue Light came on to signify a large impact, meaning that the single-specification battery pack used by all World RX cars needed to be checked by specialists, putting Hansen out of the event. The other competitor from the incident was disqualified.

"There were a lot of good signs this weekend. What we’re working on is taking the battle to win some races and this weekend we got a lot closer to be able to do that," Timmy Hansen said. "Hopefully we can be back for the next race to prove what we can do. Things can change quickly and we will keep pushing. We have big motivation in the team to move forward for better results in the coming races."

For Kevin Hansen in the Semi-Finals he made another good start, but contact on the way into turn one caused a front-right puncture, which ended his hopes of making the Final.

"The weekend didn’t end like we wanted. I had a great start in my Semi-Final, was almost completely clear of Johan Kristoffersson into turn one but we had contact and I got a puncture directly," Kevin said. "It felt like we had a good car and could challenge for the podium and if we put everything together we could challenge Johan for the win. It’s a really big shame, overall though we qualified well and we’re making good progress. We will bounce back!"

Monday 19 June 2023

A formidable performance in Hell sees Kristoffersson claim a 37th career victory.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Reigning World Champion Johan Kristoffersson produced a formidable performance in Hell to win World RX of Norway, whilst team-mate Ole Christian Veiby was disqualified for a technical infraction. 

Kristoffersson was untouchable around the Lånkebanen circuit, maintaining his flawless SuperPole record before dominating all four heats, his semi-final, and the final to tally his 37th career victory in the FIA World Rallycross Championship’s milestone 100th round.

That secured the five-time world champion a second consecutive maximum score behind the wheel, extending his advantage at the top of the championship standings to 13 points.

"The track was changing so it was difficult and easy to make mistakes," Kristoffersson said. "But I feel comfortable. We have the tools and the knowledge to make the changes we need to make things work, and I played it smart and tried not to get involved in too many incidents. Now, we look ahead to Höljes. Driving there with these new electric cars will be super-fun!”

Behind the Swede, a battle played out for ‘best-of-the-rest’. Ultimately, it was CE Dealer Team's Niclas Grönholm who prevailed in that particular fight as the Finn secured the runner-up spot.

"It has not been an easy weekend; we have been really working hard. It feels good to head home with a second place and a solid points haul after all. We need to keep working hard, stayed focused, and try again in the next race at Höljes," Grönholm said.

In only his second outing in World RX’s electric era, Timo Scheider reached the podium [with a third-place finish] for the first time in almost three years behind the wheel of the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s SEAT Ibiza RX1e.

Replicating the result achieved on her impressive World RX debut in Hell last year, Klara Andersson took the chequered flag fourth. The Swede had some of the most impressive/quickest launches this weekend.

"We had some issues in the semi-final, so I was really lucky to be able to make the final. There I got a very good launch but got hit twice," Andersson said. "After that, the wheels were pointing in every possible direction, so it was not easy to drive that’s for sure. We did not have so much luck this weekend."

Sébastien Loeb finished fifth in the World RX final in his Lancia Delta Evo-E RX, whilst hometown hero Ole Christian Veiby finished fifth on the road, but following first corner contact that removed the boot and rear wing of his car, his Volkswagen RX1e was subsequently found to be +-3.3kg under the minimum weight.

Speaking before receiving the penalty, Veiby said, "In the final, I got hit in the first corner and thus the car was very difficult to handle, so I just couldn't keep up with the others. I feel that I get too little reward for some good driving."

If it was a bad weekend for Veiby, the Hansen Motorsport stable had a weekend to forget, as Kevin Hansen exited proceedings at the semi-final stage after picking up a puncture in a Turn One clash with Kristoffersson, whilst older brother Timmy was withdrawn after his car battery sustained a high g-force load after hitting a big bump whilst attempting an overtake on Veiby. The latter was disqualified from Heat 4. 

Hansen was later fined 1,000 euros for walking onto an active circuit, and hitting Veiby's car whilst gesticulating. Due to the FIA Safety Regulations related to the battery g-force load the battery will have to undergo testing in Austria before it could be used again. 


1. Johan KRISTOFFERSSON - Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS

2. Niclas GRÖNHOLM - CE Dealer Team + 1.755s

3. Timo SCHEIDER - ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport + 3.675s

4. Klara ANDERSSON - CE Dealer Team + 5.438s

5. Sébastien LOEB (FRA) Special ONE Racing + 6.798s

6. Ole Christian VEIBY - Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS DSQ

Wednesday 14 June 2023

WORLD RX PREVIEW: Kristoffersson leads the charge to Hell, but can anyone stop the speedy Swede?

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Five-time World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson leads the charge to Hell this weekend, as the World RX of Norway plays host to the 100th round of the captivating, action-packed, and electrifying championship. 

Kristoffersson got off to a flying start in Montalegre, Portugal earlier this month, winning all of his races, including four qualifying heats, a semifinal, and the final - picking up 23 points putting him clearly at the top of the championship standings. 

The Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS driver's superb form will be hard to beat this weekend, but we are sure to see a fightback from Hansen Motorsport, CE Dealerteam, and Special ONE Racing.

However, he feels that the competition will be a lot tighter this weekend. "I am pretty sure it will be more even and tighter this time," Kristoffersson said. "I think Timmy Hansen will be a strong challenger. He is usually very fast on the track in Hell. Always small margins. You have to do your job every time. No room for mistakes." 

As Johan points out, Hansen Motorsport will look to unsettle the unstoppable Swede. Kevin Hansen, who claimed a second-place finish, sees an opportunity to make further improvements having gathered vital data. His older brother Timmy will also look to gain much-needed championship momentum after exiting Portugal in the semi-final. 

Niclas Gronholm, the ice-cool Finn from the CE Dealer Team is eager to hit the ground running in Norway this weekend, as "we will try to go for an even stronger and more consistent weekend."

"The first race in Portugal was really encouraging, and I think we have something good to build on for the rest of the season. Everybody in the team along with our partners are eager to score good results. I have a nice feeling going to Norway, where I had great results in the past," Gronholm said.

Whilst nine-time WRC legend Loeb admits that "Johan Kristoffersson is clearly untouchable at the moment, but the podium is not so far." The Frenchman will aim to find a bit more pace this weekend. 

Klara Andersson has continued to improve after becoming the first permanent female entrant since the series’ inception. Not only that, but she advanced to the final on her debut in Hell last year, beating team-mate Niclas Grönholm, a multiple event-winner.

"I am extremely excited to come back to Norway where we made our World RX debut last year. I have great memories from there and I look forward to build on the momentum from Portugal. It’s always a great atmosphere around the track in Hell, and I can’t wait to get going and fight for the podium," Andersson said.

Her reward was a long-term contract with the team, and on the basis of her impressive performance in the Montalegre season-opener earlier this month, a second podium to add to her historic top-three finish in Portugal last year can certainly not be ruled out.

Andersson is far from the only rapid female racer in the field in Norway. In the supporting, all-electric FIA RX2e Championship – which gets its five-round 2023 campaign underway this weekend – women make up 40% of the grid, with Extreme E front-runners Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Cristina Gutiérrez, Catie Munnings, and Laia Sanz all set to do battle for glory (watch all the action on RX+)



Opened in 1988 as the first asphalt track in Norway, the Lånkebanen is one of the world’s most popular rallycross tracks. Since it's opening, the track was used mostly for the national rallycross competitions. In 2011, the Lånkebanen hosted a round of the European Rallycross Championship for the first time. A few years later, it became the venue of the 2014 World Rallycross Championship. 

The Lankebanen features different options, from the main asphalt course and combined 1100-meters long rallycross circuit (63% asphalt, 37% gravel) to hill climb track and motocross track, located on the hillside below the main circuit.


Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - VW Polo RX1e

Sebastien Loeb (Special ONE Racing) - Lancia Delta Evo-e RX

Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - Peugeot 208 RX1e

Niclas Gronholm (CE Dealer Team) - PWR RX1e

Kevin Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - Peugeot 208 RX1e

Guerlain Chicherit (Special ONE Racing) - Lancia Delta Evo-e RX

Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - VW Polo RX1e

Gustav Bergstrom (Kristoffersson Motorsport) - VW Polo RX1e

Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team) - PWR RX1e

Timo Scheider (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport) SEAT Ibiza RX1e

Round 2 - World RX of Norway (CAT Times) - CET is one hour earlier. 

HEAT 1: 14:05
HEAT 2: 16:05

WARM-UP: 10:05
HEAT 3: 11:10
HEAT 4: 13:35
GRID WRAP UP SHOW: 17:00 [RX+ only]

1) Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - 23 POINTS

2) Kevin Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - 16

3) Niclas Gronholm (CE Dealer Team) - 15

4) Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) - 12

5) Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team) - 11

6) Sebastien Loeb (Special ONE Racing) - 10

7) Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) - 10

8) Guerlain Chicherit (Special ONE Racing) - 8

9) Gustav Bergstrom (Kristoffersson Motorsport) - 7

10) Timo Scheider (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport) - 6

Tuesday 6 June 2023

Formula E’s Cape Town E-Prix boosts local economy by R1bn, says study.

PHOTO CREDIT: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Cape Town’s inaugural ABB FIA Formula E event has benefited the local economy to the tune of over R1bn, according to an economic impact study compiled by Nielsen Sports SA. 

The findings, released by the Data Analysis agency, which had examined the economic impact of the 2023 Cape Town E-Prix, revealed that the race generated R1.084bn in economic activity and drew nearly R70m in media value globally, making the Formula E event one of the biggest economic impact and global media exposure events hosted in the city in the last 10 years.

Nielsen Sports Managing Director Jean Willers has explained the process of quantifying an event on a scale such as this one, “Nielsen Sports Host City evaluation assessed the impact on its host city across three critical areas. Firstly, fan attendance, based on ticketing data & fan research, with 53% of spectators from outside of Cape Town and 69% of all fans indicating that they would advise others to visit Cape Town. Secondly, economic impact, through expenses of event attendees, event organizers, teams, sponsors, media, and hospitality guests. Lastly, media impact, through analysis of the global TV exposure, social media, online, broadcast, and print media coverage for the host city Cape Town.”

The E-Prix, which took place on the streets of the picturesque Green Point precinct in February this year, attracted thousands of spectators. This influx of visitors had a positive impact on the city's hospitality industry, with hotels, restaurants, and bars experiencing a surge in business.

"The Formula E race was a huge success for Cape Town, both in terms of the international exposure it brought to the city and the economic benefits it generated," says Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. "It surpassed all expectations, and we are proud to have hosted such a prestigious event. We look forward to welcoming the series back in the future."

Nissan's Sacha Fenestraz led the field at the start of the Cape Town E-Prix.
PHOTO CREDIT: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
In addition to the economic benefits, the study found that the E-Prix also had a positive impact on the environment. Formula E cars are powered by renewable electricity, making them a more sustainable alternative to traditional racing vehicles, while providing the thrill that motorsports fans have come to love and expect.

Chairman of e-Movement Iain Banner said, “We are delighted – but not surprised – with the findings of the Nielsen Sports report, showing that Formula E Cape Town delivered over R1,080,000,000 of economic impact. Additionally, the global media coverage was close to R70m. We always knew the event would provide a massive boost to the economy at a time when it was badly needed. It can only go up from here”.

Large-scale events greatly contribute to job creation, and one of the most tangible examples is Quebeka Fencing, the company appointed to produce the 7.8km of debris fencing. Quebeka ran two teams, 24/7 for 61 days. 

In addition, local labour formed part of the race compound, grandstand, and garage construction teams, and served in various essential crew capacities like security and marshaling, while local businesses received a boost through selling food and beverages from their food trucks and mobile eateries across the two Fan Villages.

“The race was a spectacular event for the City of Cape Town and for the millions of viewers that tuned in around the world. The track created perfect conditions for high-speed racing action including the fastest lap in Formula E history. Our drivers would love the chance to beat that next season and we look forward to receiving the commitments to make that happen,” Alberto Longo, Co-Founder and Chief Championship Officer, of Formula E, said.