Wednesday, 31 August 2022

PREVIEW: Kristoffersson leads charge as World RX races into Rīga.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
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.

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
Whilst a new era has begun, most of the drivers' either had minor technical gremlins or discovered issues with there cars, namely the Hansen World RX Team, who discovered that there center of gravity was poor due to the battery positioning, but despite those obstacles they were pressuring Kristoffersson as much as possible. 

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. 


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.)


Located on the outskirts of the Latvian capital of Riga, the Biķernieki track is the country’s only permanent circuit, with a history dating back to the 1950s, when a temporary course was first constructed within the surrounding forest.

In 2016, Biķernieki joined the FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar, with a 1,295m layout. Incorporating sections of the race circuit, a long gravel zone through the wooded infield section and three jumps – two on the standard lap and one in the Joker – it immediately became a favorite amongst both drivers and fans.

PREVIOUS WINNERS (2021) - Round 4 Niclas Grönholm
                                                   Round 5 Johan Kristoffersson
SURFACE: 60% Asphalt, 40% Gravel.
JOKER LAP LOSS: 3.3 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.

World RX Entry List - Ferratum World RX of Rīga-Latvia 2022

*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.

2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship Standings (Drivers):
Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) 20 points
Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) 16 pts
Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) 13 pts
Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team) 12pts
Niclas Gronholm (CE Dealer Team) 11 pts
Gustav Bergstrom (Kristoffersson Motorsport) 10 pts
Kevin Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) 9 pts
Rene Munnich (ALL-INLK Munnich Motorsport) 8 pts

2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship Standings (Teams):
Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS 33 points
Hansen World RX Team 25 pts
Construction Equipment Dealer Team 23 pts

Rounds 2 and 3 - Ferratum World RX of Rīga-Latvia (CAT Times). 

HEAT 1: 12:10
HEAT 2: 13:40
GRID WRAP UP SHOW: 18:00 [RX+ only]

WARM-UP: 09:05
HEAT 1: 11:10
HEAT 2: 13:25
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.

Sunday, 14 August 2022

Kristoffersson kick starts title defense with victory in Hell.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Johan Kristoffersson kick starts title defense with victory at the Ramudden World Rallycross of Norway.

The reigning champion posted the fastest time in the new 'Superpole' timed qualifying session by just 0.156s over Timmy Hansen, before winning the first and third heats as well as the progression race (new this season). 

Having finished at the top of the overall rankings, and winner of the progression race - Johan Kristoffersson would start the first semi-final from pole position, but a technical issue meant he was left on the line as the lights went green. He got going eventually, and began the fight back to finish behind team-mate Ole Christian Veiby, Gustav Bergstrom and Rene Munnich. 

The second semi-final seemed rather similar to that of the first, with the pole sitter (Timmy Hansen) struggling off the line, whilst Niclas Gronholm opted to start in the fifth place grid slot, and ended up having an incredible launch. The Finn carried the speed around the outside of the pack to take the lead at turn one. Whilst that was going on, Kevin Hansen was recovering after braking he's Peugeot's left rear suspension after contact with Klara Andersson on the run to the first corner. 

Timmy tried to battle Gronholm all the way to the checkered flag, but the CE Dealer Team driver hung on to win the second semi-final ahead of Hansen and team-mate Andersson.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
In the final, Ole Christian Veiby started from pole position followed by Niclas Gronholm in second, Johan Kristoffersson in third, then Timmy Hansen in fourth and Klara Andersson in the final grid spot (fifth).

Hansen and Andersson had the best starts from fourth and fifth on the grid. The 2019 World Champion then squeezed across the front of Johan into turn one, but as Veiby, Gronholm and Hansen fought for position, and ran a touch wide. The ever smart Kristoffersson backed off and cut on the inside of the three drivers fighting ahead, and emerged in first place at turn two, while Timmy emerged in second close up against the barriers with Vieby backing out and falling into third. 

From there, Kristoffersson put the hammer down and began to open up a gap to Hansen behind, whilst Niclas Gronholm opted for an alternative strategy, and took the joker almost immediately (on lap 2). 

As Hansen continued to push in second, Ole Christian was right on he's rear bumper closely followed by the very impressive Andersson.

On the fourth lap, Timmy Hansen tried fending off Veiby, but as the Norwegian launched an attack. The Swede took a dive into the joker to fend him off the attacking Polo RX1e driver. With a last lap joker for Andersson, and race leader Kristoffersson, the result was rather clear.

Kristoffersson claimed victory by 3.692s to Hansen with Veiby rounding out the podium in third, followed by Klara Andersson in fourth and her CE Dealer Team team-mate Gronholm in fifth. 

"It's been very up-and-down after that mistake/mishap in the semi-final, and then to come back and win, basically because of the carnage in turn one, and I managed to take advantage of that," Kristoffersson said. "I am mostly happy for the team, because to finish first and third with all the work that has ben put in.. it's just incredible. There is still plenty of work to do on a lot of things, it's been a good weekend, but we need to keep pushing."

Gustav Bergstrom, Kevin Hansen, who suffered suspension damage in the second semi-final and Rene Munnich, who suffered a mechanical issue all missed out on the final.

Ramudden World RX of Norway: FINAL.

1. Johan Kristoffersson (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS)

2. Timmy Hansen (Hansen World RX Team) +3.692s 

3. Ole Christian Veiby (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) +4.057s

4. Klara Andersson (CE Dealer Team) +5.049s

5. Niclas Gronholm (CE Dealer Team) +5.332s

Thursday, 11 August 2022

WORLD RX PREVIEW: The dawning of a new era in Hell.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
It's e-xciting, e-xhilirating, e-ntertaining, and guess what? It's back! Yes! The FIA World Rallycross Championship is back, and on the highway to Hell this weekend, for the start of the eagerly-anticipated electric era.

Following years of preparation and hard work behind-the-scenes, the eagerly-anticipated electric era is finally upon us! The state-of-the-art new RX1e machine pushes out 500kW (equivalent of 680bhp) and 880Nm of instant torque, while the battery has been specifically designed for optimum weight distribution.

So, with all that power. How will the new RX1e cars get charged? Well! The championship has secured green energy recharging systems, which will be managed by GCK Energy via a bespoke solution comprised of containers and mobile charging points. The containers will arrive at each event fully charged, having collected 900kWh back at base in France through a combination of solar panels and the local green energy network.


Rallycross is one of the greatest challenges in motorsport for a tyre manufacturer – developing a range of products that deliver exceptional performance on both sealed and loose surfaces while dealing with the incredibly high demands of the discipline’s fast and aggressive nature is exceptionally difficult.

With the switch to electric powertrains delivering close to 900Nm of instant torque, Cooper Tire has developed a new ACB11 rallycross tyre which takes performance to new levels while utilising sustainable materials and manufacturing techniques. 


Kristoffersson Motorsport: 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.)


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.

PREVIOUS WINNER (2019): Niclas Grönholm


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 - Ramudden World RX of Norway 2022

*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.

Round 1 - Ramudden World RX of Norway (CAT Times) - CET is one hour earlier. 

HEAT 1: 14:19
HEAT 2: 16:49

WARM-UP: 09:05
HEAT 3: 11:39
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.

The reigning World Champion Johan Kristoffersson returns.... Can anyone unsettle he's pursuit of a fifth title? Let's go racing! 

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Local promoter convinced Cape Town will feature on Formula E’s Season 9 calendar.

Following the release of the provisional calendar for the Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship yesterday, local promoter e-Movement is adamant that a race will be staged in Cape Town in 2023.  

The new Gen 3 era for Formula E will see the likes of Maserati and McLaren joining a strong manufacturer entry list, with the season set to kick-off in Mexico City in January followed by a double-header in Diriyah, then a trip to Hyderabad (India). 

The world championship will then travel to three ‘to be decided’ destinations, with Cape Town expected to host it’s maiden Formula E race on 25 February 2023, with Sanya to follow in the second “TBD” calendar slot.

Earlier this year, e-Movement (the local organiser) formally launched the proposed Cape Town e-Prix layout, and formally confirmed that there are contracts and agreements in place with the Formula E organisation.

Whilst the Mother City currently does not feature on the first draft of the Season 9 calendar, the local organisers, and Formula E Co-Founder Alberto Longo are rather confident that Cape Town will be included in the final calendar, which is set to be issued by the World Motor Sport Council in September. 

“The Formula E race delivery team just spent three days in Cape Town alongside race promoter E-Movement and reported positive progress in key areas. Road construction for the track has commenced, and other important infrastructure requirements and negotiations are close to completion,” Formula E Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer Alberto Longo said.

“The Formula E team is in daily contact with counterparts at E-Movement, the local race promoter, and the Formula E leadership team has complete line of sight on the project. We expect E-Movement to continue making positive progress which will result in the Cape Town E-Prix being confirmed when the provisional Season 9 calendar is finalised by the FIA this September”

“We started a journey in June 2019 to secure the rights to stage an E-Prix in Cape Town. Since achieving this objective, it has been all hands on deck to not only be in a position to deliver the race as part of Season 9, but to also stage an E-Fest the week prior to the race, which includes an E-mobility festival called ‘Electric’!, showcasing all things E, as well as ‘Africa’s Green Economy Summit’, which seeks to marry global capital with green economy opportunity in Africa” said e-Movement Chairman, Iain Banner.

“The upgrade of the Cape Town Stadium precinct based on a 2030 vision, includes the preparation of the FE race track, which construction is well underway. This work is scheduled to be completed by mid-December this year.”

Thursday, 12 May 2022

EXCLUSIVE - Getting to Grips with Cooper Tires’ Matthew Vincent.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
They are round, black, patterned, and come in different sizes. Mmmmm.. What are they? Did you say tyres? Well. You are right!

So, while we are on the subject, let’s talk tyres, shall we? They make the world move in more ways than one... Moving from point A to B, or the transportation of goods and services, which is essential to businesses and countries' economies, without them we’d be going nowhere slowly.

There are so many different tyres brands available for everyday use, but some that stand out above the rest are: Pirelli, Michelin, Bridgestone, Cooper Tires, Dunlop, Yokohama, to name a few. This is mainly due to their involvement in motorsport, but interestingly enough, despite their strong marketability,
DID YOU KNOW: the LEGO Group is the world's largest tyre producer. "After introducing their tyres in 1962 with a Lego kit set, the products have surged in popularity. Lego produced 318 million mini rubber tyres in 2011, making it the largest tyre manufacturer in the world. Coming in second is Bridgestone, with 190 million in 2011."

While the LEGO Group is the biggest producer, their tyres won’t fit on our daily vehicles, and because we are talking about tyres, it’s fascinating to note that different manufacturers or brands have different tread patterns based on their research and development. Technology and innovative solutions are also key to development.

Motorsport is another way of learning, gaining marketing popularity, and improving tyres for road use. In motorsport, tyre grip is essential in any condition, and that is exactly the case in day-to-day living, because without grip moving from point A to B in cars or heavy modes of transport would be unsafe.

So, what’s the real difference between road car tyres and racing tyres? Well! Certain racing tyres are developed with performance and grip in mind with certain tread designs or even slicks available, whilst road tyres are designed for all weather conditions, whether it be dry, rainy, or snowy conditions (in some countries).

There is a wide range of tyre manufacturers across many national and international motorsport championships, but as motorsport makes a shift to greener technologies and different methods to extract performance. There is never one tyre or manufacturer that can be transferred between series, and with the recent push to electric power, example, the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship, it would be quite interesting to learn more about tyres within a particular championship. 

In the FIA World Rallycross Championship, Cooper Tires has been the official tyre supplier since the championship's inception back in 2014. Their involvement in rallycross started in the early 2000’s under the AVON tyre brand. With a focus on rallying and rallycross, Cooper Tires also provides tyres for the Road to Indy championship as well.

With rallycross being a dual-surface discipline, the demands for rallycross requires tyres that work on tarmac and dirt/gravel, which means drivers and teams need tyres that enable them to extract or gain as much grip as possible through corners and when accelerating. However, putting power on the road or gravel comes with its own set of challenges, such as tyre wear, sliding, and overheating.

So, how do teams solve these issues? It may sound simple, but it could be more challenging than expected, and it all comes down to finding the ideal set-up.

An example of this would be the Hansen Motorsport (Peugeot). They are historically strong on high abrasive tracks, but with a few damper and suspension changes, the team gains a bit more grip on loose surfaces (dirt sections).

Building a tyre that can handle the stresses and strains of rallycross machinery is something Cooper Tires has done brilliantly over the years. So, why not learn a little bit more about the manufacturer behind the RX1e cars, who we all know and love?

Matthew Vincent, Cooper Tires Product Technology Manager - Motorsport 
PHOTO CREDIT: Matthew Vincent.
To gain a much better understanding of Cooper Tires and the development of tyres for the series and road use, we spoke to Matthew Vincent, the Product Technology Manager – Motorsport for Cooper Tires.

Matthew attended his first rallycross round in 2009 at Lydden Hill, where the then 14-time European Rallyross Champion, Kenneth Hansen, raced his Citroen C4 to victory on the AVON tyre brand (now known as Cooper Tires).

With 25 years of experience and 15 years of managing the development of the Rallycross product range for Cooper Tires, Matthew is the ideal person to gain a better understanding of tyres in rallycross and the tyres for everyday use.

So, how did the Cooper Tires and FIA World Rallycross Championship partnership come about?

"At that time, the FIA World Rallycross Championship evolved out of the FIA European Championship. At that time, it was open to all tyre manufacturers, and we were very active in developing products in this area. From the mid-1990s to the present, almost every FIA European Rallycross Champion has used our product. So, when the FIA World Championship was formed, it was only natural for us to continue this long-running involvement and to be an active part of its future, as we are today with the introduction of electric," Matthew Vincent explained.

Let’s talk design. The design of tyres for any motorsport championship is quite challenging and rather demanding. Could you explain to us how Cooper Tires are designed to prevent an unfair advantage between teams?

MV: "Designing tyres for rallycross can be quite challenging, especially when you consider the relative freedom in the regulations the teams have in the suspension design of the car when compared to most other championships. On top of this, you will find quite a range of driving styles, with some drivers almost drifting every corner and others that are much more precise. These can result in quite different car set-ups, but the advantage of the Cooper tyre is its specific type of cross-ply construction, which is able to work within a wide range of setups and still perform. Importantly, this tyre has not been designed around one specific car or setup but is a culmination of over 20 years of development."

To gain a better understanding of tyre manufacturing. Could you be able to talk us through the manufacturing process of a set of tyres for the World RX championship? And, how many tyres are produced each year for the championship?

MV: "Unlike a road car tyre, which can be produced on highly automated machinery and, as a result, very quickly, the complex construction and specialised materials used in the rallycross tyre mean these take longer to produce."

"All our rallycross tyres are produced in our factory in England, where specially trained operators apply the multiple plys of fabric and other components to produce what is known as greenstock (unvulcanised tyres). These are then cured (vulcanised) in presses at a specific temperature and time that are chosen to provide the best performance of the tyre; even a few degrees or minutes difference can have an impact on the product's performance.We have to produce for, and have available at, each event enough dry and wet tyres to cover all eventualities, and with each car being allowed up to 12 dry and 12 wet tyres per weekend, this can be quite a significant number."

Currently, there are two different compounds in World RX . The dry and wet tyres, which are pretty self-explanatory. Are there any plans by Cooper Tires to expand the range of dry tyres to add some spiciness to the racing, as different compounds could make a huge difference in performance?

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool

"The tread compound plays a huge part in the performance of the tyre, and the current compound has been specifically chosen to meet the challenges of working in a wide range of conditions and temperatures. We work closely with the promoter and the teams on the future direction of the product to ensure we don’t just have the best tyres but help provide the best racing and entertainment for the spectators."

As the world moves towards sustainability and greener technology, so are Cooper Tires, and Matthew explains a little bit more on this:
"A key direction we are looking at, though, is looking at the use of sustainable materials in the tyre whilst maintaining or even improving performance. We have been using bio-sourced and recycled materials in the rallycross tyre for some time, but as the evolution of the tyre continues, we are looking at increasing these further."

As the years progress, so does the car performance. So, are Cooper Tires altering or tweaking tyre compounds each year, and, if so, how are tyres developed per season?

MV: "We are constantly monitoring tyre performance at every round of the championship to ensure the product is meeting the requirements required of it. You are constrained to some degree when supplying a control tyre to a championship over a fixed term (the FIA World Championship is typically over a three-year period). Unless there is a specific requirement for change, the design of the tyre remains relatively unchanged. However, data we take from the World Championship is used in the development of our rallycross products that are used in other regional/national championships to ensure we continue to be one of the best products in the sport."

With the FIA World Rallycross Championship going fully electric in 2022, there may be additional stresses placed on the tyres. Projekt E saw, drivers constantly on the limit of their cars but constantly dealt with overheating. With that in mind are Cooper Tires planning to make any compound or construction changes to reduce tyre overheating for the new era of rallycross?

MV: "The transition to electric will have a significant impact on the tyres as you have instantaneous torque that provides instant acceleration combined with an increase in the weight of the car. Both of these will place significant additional strain on the tyres which, if not factored into the tyre design, will result in higher tread compound temperatures and also higher wear."

"We have already been successfully running our product on the RX2e cars, which were introduced last year, and this has certainly helped us with the future direction of the tyre. As a result, we are actively testing new evolutions of the rallycross compound to meet these challenges, ready for the start of the season in July."

Having had an indept chat about tyres in the World Rallycross Championship. What is the biggest difference between road tyres and the product for World Rallycross? And what are the differences?

MV: "The race tyres we use in World Rallycross are significantly different to a typical road tyre, the biggest of these being in the construction. Almost all road tyres are of radial construction, meaning the cords of the case run radially from bead to bead and the tread is supported by a steel breaker.”

"The Cooper rallycross tyre, however, is of cross-ply construction, with multiple plys of cord running diagonally and with no steel breaker. This construction provides significant advantages in this type of racing. In particular, the much larger slip angle the cross-ply construction can operate at results in much more controllable sliding through corners. The tread compounds are also very different to a normal road car tyre, with the compound for the rallycross tyre being specifically designed to meet demands placed on it that are a world away from those of a passenger car. This is achieved by using specific polymers, oils, resins, and carbon black which are selected to provide maximum grip and consistency."

With thanks to Matthew Vincent (Cooper Tires), we certainly hope that you’ve gained a better understanding of tyres in World Rallycross (motorsport) and the road going specification. For more information, please visit: Cooper Tires

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

CE Dealer Team makes history with gender-equal driver line-up.

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.  

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."

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

CE Dealer Team commits to all-new electric World RX era with two-car entry.

Weeks after hinting at an FIA World Rallycross Championship entry, the Construction Equipment Dealer Team (CE Dealer Team) has today announced a multi-year, two-car entry to the full series ahead of the eagerly-anticipated electric era.

"We are pleased to announce our entry to World RX, which is a perfect fit for the CE Dealer Team and our push for a more sustainable future with our partners," Emil Axelsson, Sporting and Commercial Director, CE Dealer Team, said. "The World RX programme provides us with an excellent activation platform, one where our partners can showcase their innovative products and solutions through the world’s most exciting electric motorsport category."

The Nordic-based squad will be operated by PWR RX, a sister company of the successful Swedish motorsport team PWR Racing. They are set to enter a pair of 680hp electric rallycross cars for two soon-to-be revealed drivers (reveal date - 10 May at 10am CET).

Like World RX, the team is firmly committed to spearheading a sustainable future, both on and off-track. Through its participation in the championship, they aim to drive the shift towards greater diversity and inclusivity, while highlighting the excitement that the move to an electric future offers.

"While World RX is new to us, building and developing fast electric race cars is not. Our extensive racing experience coupled with the vast technical expertise of our industrial partners gives us confidence that our long-term goal of fighting for FIA World Rallycross Championship titles will ultimately be successful," Daniel Haglöf, Co-Founder, CE Dealer Team, said.

"An important additional element of our programme is to drive a change that will see motorsport become more inclusive and diverse. We look forward to announcing further exciting details surrounding these elements soon."

The 2022 World RX season will begin with an official launch at iconic Höljes track on 2-3 July, followed by rounds at the legendary Nürburgring, Hell in Norway, Rīga’s Biķernieku trase, Montalegre in Portugal, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and a yet-to-be-confirmed season finale.

Monday, 21 March 2022

World RX reveals tweaked 2022 calendar.

Rallycross Promoter GmbH, the promoter for the FIA World Rallycross Championship has today issued a revised 2022 calendar, as ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council last weekend.

The first season of the electric era will see the championship travel to seven countries with 11 rounds (four double-headers) - a return to normality after two seasons affected by the global pandemic.

The all-electric World Championship will be officially launched at the iconic Höljes track over the course of the ‘Magic Weekend' at the beginning of July, alongside racing action from Euro RX1, Euro RX3, and the FIA RX2e Championship.

Having hosted the season finale in 2021, the famous Nürburgring (Germany) will host round two of the championship at the end of July, before the trek to Hell (Norway) which makes a welcome return in mid-August. 

After three single rounds, now the pressure and action heats up, four double-headers are on the cards. First up, is Rīga’s Biķernieku trase (Latvia) followed by Montalegre (Portugal) in September. Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) will host the penultimate round of the season. 

Cape Town (Killarney) was originally set to host the season finale, but the latest revised calendar has mentioned an undisclosed venue potentially in November. Further information on the season finale is expected to be released in the coming weeks. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

World RX sets up group to research ways to improve track design.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Arne Dirks has revealed that Rallycross Promoter has created a group tasked with understanding track design with a focus on improving overtaking possibilities in the championship.

In December, the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) revealed a number of changes to the 2022 Sporting Regulations ahead of the championships switch electric power this year. 

The changes range from the renaming of Qualifying heats to Heat 1, 2, and 3 instead of Q1, Q2, etc. along with the introduction of a Superpole timed session instead of the much-hated grid draw. 

The final qualifying session, known as Q4 named “Heat 4” will be replaced by a “Progression Race” which adds another stage in the progress towards to Semi-Finals. Read More Here. Additional changes include five laps in all races (Qualifying, Progression Race, Semi-Finals, Final) and no driver may use the Joker Lap on Lap 1 if the Joker Lap is in Corner No.1.

Leaving no stone unturned for the new era of World Rallycross, Rallycross Promoter launched a live stream platform (RX+) last year, which achieved great success, but with a new era of rallycross on the cards. The series promoters have looked at other ways to improve the spectacle for the fans.

In recent years, it has become quite apparent that circuits were designed with one racing line in mind, a subject we addressed when speaking to the World RX Championship Coordinator, Tim Whittington last month. [Read Feature Story] He explained that the championship "is working to introduce changes to circuits for the 2022 season." 

Arne Dirks, the Executive Director of Rallycross Promoter has now made it clear that they aim to assess track design within the championship.

“What we are doing at the moment, we are working heavily on track changes together with our organizers and the FIA. And, therefore we have set up a group of experts, there are drivers, team principals, circuit builders, and even across the board disciplines involved to get an understanding of how we can change tracks with the overall goal of creating more overtaking possibilities because we think that is key to the sport, and that adds more excitement for the fans, for the partners, and for everyone,” Arne Dirks explained. 

Monday, 28 February 2022

Hansen Motorsport explains chassis selection and performance differences for new electric era of World RX.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
It’s been four years in the making, but finally, the electric era of World Rallycross is upon us!

The dawn of a new era, an era that is set to thrill us in more ways than one… not talking about the electrification, but an era that could potentially see the championship thrive. 

Manufacturers could return, and the racing could be a lot closer than before, not forgetting the return of Kristoffersson Motorsport with four-time World Champion Johan Kristoffersson in a Volkswagen Polo R5 (chassis), Guerlain Chicherit in a Lancia Delta Evo-e, and Hansen Motorsport.

Hansen Motorsport is the most decorated team in rallycross, and they have recently announced a multi-year commitment to the championship with the Hansen brothers returning in new-look electric cars, based on the previously used Peugeot 208 platform but re-engineered to adopt a homologated powertrain from Kreisel Electric, which generates 500kW – equivalent to 680bhp and 880Nm of torque. 

Having competed in World Rallycross since the series inception in 2014. The Hansen's have tons of experience in building race-winning cars, having fielded the Peugeot marque since the very start.

14-time European Rallycross Champion and team principal Kenneth Hansen has explained why his team has chosen to stick with the Peugeot 208 platform for the electric era rather than switching to the Rally2 specification chassis, which is permitted by the FIA Regulations. 

"You can choose two different specifications. You could either choose a Rally 2 regulation car or you can retrofit old cars, and Hansen Motorsport have chosen to retrofit our old cars. We think that is the most efficient for our team. It's cost-efficient. We also recycle something, so that's good, but it's also performance-wise. We also think it's good. We think also with the electric coming now, it's such a lot of other things we need to learn. So, if we have the same platform, we don't need to start all over with that at the moment," Kenneth Hansen said.

The possible electric powertrain layout in the Peugeot 208.
PHOTO CREDIT: Hansen Motorsport
With a clear explanation for continuing on with the Peugeot 208. Where does the Swedish outfit see a performance difference coming from when all teams run the same powertrain kits this year? 

Well! 2019 World Champion Timmy Hansen expects the performance differences to come from the installation of the new powertrain kits, development of the chassis, as well as the technology in the car, such as the dampers, etc. 

"I think we are going to have the same power train, and we don't quite know exactly the regulation yet, but I expect there to be performance in finding the set-up of the drive train. But then, as always, as part of what we love Rallycross for, we're still developing our own chassis, and if you knew what was going on behind the scenes, like the technology in the Dampers, for example, with Ohlin’s, it’s mind-blowing, and there is a lot of performance to find," Timmy Hansen said. 

“So, we are going to push as hard as we've always been on the chassis side, it won't be exactly the same car. We are going forward in the best way that we can do together with our partners. There will be a lot of performance in that and also currently in fitting the electric battery and everything. This heavy part into the chassis in the right position is important.” 

Once all the hard work is done building the cars to specification, younger brother Kevin Hansen believes that it will then come down to the drivers putting in a lot of work to get on top of the changes to gain an early advantage, while others adapt to the new technology. 

“In the end, us (drivers) behind the wheel needs to do a really good job to put it together and be on top of these changes when they come out in the early stages before everyone starts to find their way through and looking what others are doing and so on,” he said.

The 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship is set to get underway at Höljes on 2-3 July, followed by rounds at Germany (Nürburgring), Norway, Rīga in Latvia, Montalegre in Portugal, fan favourite Spa Francorchamps in early October, and Cape Town rounding out the season in November. 

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Hansen Motorsport commits to electric rallycross future with "huge investment."

PHOTO CREDIT: Hansen Motorsport
The defending team champions', Hansen Motorsport have announced a ‘multiple-year’ commitment to the FIA World Rallycross Championship, hailing a ‘huge investment’ in the new electric rallycross era.

One of the most decorated teams in rallycross history, Hansen Motorsport has been at the forefront of the dual-surface discipline since founder and Team Principal Kenneth Hansen claimed the first of his record 14 European Rallycross Championship titles in 1989, prior to graduating to the headlining category four years later.

But, this year marks a major leap for the Swedish outfit in its efforts to increase sustainability and environmental awareness, while also continuing to challenge for wins and titles in the top flight as the World Rallycross Championship switches to all-electric cars.

"This a huge investment that we are making to the World Rallycross Championship, with a plan for multiple years – it’s the biggest thing we have ever done. It’s very new and very exciting for all of us," Kenneth Hansen said. 

“It feels a little like when we entered four-wheel-drive rallycross for the first time in 1993. We didn’t know many things then, and with the switch to electric technology there are many things we are learning about from scratch as well. It’s very refreshing to be focusing on something so new, with some people we have worked with for many years and some new faces around inspiring us as well. There really is a lot of fresh energy here to push forwards.

"The group of drivers at the top in World Rallycross are among the best in the world, and that mine and Susann’s sons, Timmy and Kevin, are part of that group and choose to drive with our team is very special."

PHOTO CREDIT: Hansen Motorsport
Three Teams’ World Championships is a testament to the caliber of the team – the most recent of those coming last season when Timmy Hansen waged a hard-fought fight with fellow countryman Johan Kristoffersson that culminated with the pair tied on points at the top of the Drivers’ standings, the 2019 champion ultimately missing out on a second career crown on countback.

"World RX is where I’ve built my career and it’s given me some amazing opportunities. The level of competition in World RX is the very best, but that’s what drives us to push ourselves further. I believe we will have a very strong package going into the new season, which I’m very excited about," Timmy Hansen said.

“It’s second nature to our family to look for solutions to be as competitive as possible, especially in rallycross; it’s just what we do, and we are all extremely motivated for 2022. This is a big step in a new direction that I’m super-happy to be part of, racing extremely fast cars on great circuits against the best drivers and teams in the world. There really isn’t anything better.”

Today's announcement has formally confirmed Timmy and younger brother Kevin Hansen will remain with their family team. The Swedish siblings will pilot new-look electric cars, based on the Peugeot 208 chassis, but re-engineered to adopt the homologated electric powertrain from Austrian firm, Kreisel. 

"It’s a super-exciting time for our company and team to embrace this new electric era. Since 2018 we have spoken about electric rallycross in the World Championship and finally, it’s going to happen," Kevin Hansen said. "The electric powertrain kits will be arriving at Hansen Motorsport soon and for me to be part of this World Championship winning team, with a great philosophy for what the car and everything around us should be, I couldn’t be prouder."

"I think it’s going to be even greater than people can imagine."

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

INTERVIEW - Kristoffersson "always believed" a fourth title was possible despite points deficit in final round.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
In recent years, fans have been spoilt with the opportunity to witness true greats at their peaks, the likes of Sebastien Ogier, Marc Marquez, Johan Kristoffersson, and Lewis Hamilton.

Athletes whether it be in racing or athletics, they tend to push themselves to higher levels in order to succeed in life because as we all know “success is not given, it’s earned!”. Something four-time World Champion Johan Kristoffersson knows all too well having broken every record in the book, and set a couple of new records. 

A career that spanned over seven seasons in the FIA World Rallycross Championship has seen the Swede claim four titles in 67 starts, 27 wins, and 78 qualifying heat wins, a record yet to be beaten. 

Some may argue that Johan’s success can be attributed to the very competitive Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R that he raced from 2017 to 2018, but recently without factory support, we’ve seen the championship-winning Swede show his incredible talents fighting for victories against the stiffest of competition in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. 

The fightback last year (2021), may have been his hardest to date having had to overcome a number of issues, from reliability to penalties for infringements of the regulations. But, the multiple World Champion did not let that phase him any one bit, despite being 28-points down after the first three rounds. He kept focused and went on to claim a first victory of the season at round 5 in Latvia, which would turn his season around completely. 

With two rounds remaining in the 2021 campaign, 17 points were the difference between Timmy Hansen and Kristoffersson, it seemed like a very tall order, but there is no discounting a determined Champion who approached the weekend in a very calm manner. 

The pressure was on, and it immediately reared its head, as championship leader Timmy Hansen was disqualified from the semi-final for an incident with Niclas Gronholm meaning Kristoffersson would have the opportunity to narrow the points gap, which he did successfully.

One round to go, and just four points splitting the top two, it was Kristoffersson who would prevail in the very last race of the season with a third-place finish to clinch a fourth World Title on countback, a scene last-seen in 2019 where Timmy Hansen came out on top.  

Fresh from clinching another championship, Kristoffersson had more work on his hands. The Rosberg Xtreme Racing team were leading the Extreme E championship ahead of X44’s Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez Herrero, but with a clear strategy, Kristoffersson and team-mate Molly Taylor kept it clean in the final and finished the season on equal points, meaning they claimed the inaugural Extreme E championship by virtue of more event wins. 

With a few months to reflect on, his incredible achievements, Johan Kristoffersson has already confirmed his plans for the coming year. The Swede will return to defend his World RX title with family-run Kristoffersson Motorsport under the banner Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS and return to Extreme E with the Rosberg Xtreme Racing team. 

We sat down with the four-time World Champion to talk all things World Rallycross, from the new electric era to the car he will race in 2022 and more… 

JS: Congratulations on achieving your fourth World Championship. Did you think winning the title was possible heading into the final round with a 17-point deficit to Timmy Hansen?

Johan Kristoffersson: “I always believed that winning would be possible because in motorsport anything can happen.”

In any sport, pressure can make or break an individual, but as we’ve seen through the years. You are always cool, calm, collected, and focused. It may be a strange question to ask, but do you ever feel pressure or feel pressured heading into a race weekend? And, how do you keep focused and calm?

JK: “The pressure I put on myself is more between the race weekends, as I want to be as well prepared as I can be when I’m on the race weekend.”

“On the race weekend, I can only do my best and hope that the preparation I’ve done is good enough. And most important, don’t forget to have fun!”

Fun is always forgotten when you are in the heat of a tense championship battle, but that’s quite an interesting point. 

You have had some rather unfortunate incidents last season, whether it be the disconnection of your data logger (DSQ) or mechanical issues that cost you valuable points. 

How do you as a driver approach each race weekend knowing that you had a points deficit and need to start gaining points on your rival?

JK: “I analyze previous race weekends, adjust and try to do better in the next race. That’s it, I can’t do more than my best.” 

Kristoffersson leading rival Timmy Hansen.
PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
Having driven Volkswagen machinery for most of his career. Kristoffersson took the leap, and joined the KYB EKS JC squad in 2021, a story that all started after Mattias Ekström published an April Fools’ post on his social media channels that Johan would race for his team, and that was how the whole conversation started.

Being so accustomed to Volkswagen Supercars, adaption to something new is not always easy. So, how hard was it to take a step into new machinery with so many different components? And, where changes were made to cater to his driving style? 

JK: “Some adaptations were made to the car and my driving. We had a very good team around the car with a mix of people I’ve worked with before, which makes it easy to quickly understand each other, and EKS JC had a lot of experience with the car. That together made it easier to get comfortable quickly, and we showed brilliant speed already at round one in Barcelona.”

The title G.O.A.T. is something not many can claim, but those who can are the Greatest of All Time in their respective fields. The acronym is often used to praise exceptional athletes from the many different disciplines, namely: Michael Schumacher, Michael Jordan, Sebastien Loeb, Muhammad Ali, Sebastien Ogier, Valentino Rossi, Lewis Hamilton, etc. 

In recent years, it’s pretty clear that we’ve witnessed the emergence of a new G.O.A.T., in the form of Johan Kristoffersson. A driver who has surpassed all the records set in the championship since its inaugural season in 2014. 

Kristoffersson has rewritten the rallycross history books with all his successes on and off-track, which clearly makes him a "Greatest Of All Time" in World RX. Does this title mean anything to you, or do you thinking of it at all?

JK: “It means nothing! I do think about it, but I would rather like to continue collecting more trophies in World RX. That is my main focus!”

With the formal confirmation of your return in 2022 with one of three Volkwagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS cars. Could you give us any clue on the body shell that your team will use in the new electric era of World RX?

JK: “Our car will be a modified electric Volkswagen Polo R5.”

Kristoffersson last raced a Volkswagen Polo R5 at the 2021 WRC - Arctic Rally Finland where he finished fifth in class (27th overall). 

Many fans have been apprehensive about the full switch to electric power in rallycross. How do you feel about the move? 

JK: “It will be a very challenging year with so many new things in the regulations. Both for drivers and the teams building the cars. I think the racing on track will be closer than ever because every team will use the same battery pack and powertrain.”

“Hopefully, World RX will attract more manufacturers and top-level drivers to make the series as good as it deserves to be in my opinion.”

2021 Extreme E Champions - Rosberg Xtreme Racing: Kristoffersson and Taylor.
PHOTO CREDIT: Rosberg Xtreme Racing.
You’ve competed in World RX, RallyX Nordic, STCC, Gymkana Grid, to name a few, but last year, we saw you make the most to something completely different, Extreme E. It was a challenging season with thrills and spills, but you and Molly Taylor came out on top and clinched the inaugural championship for the Rosberg Xtreme Racing Team. Did you find it challenging to make the switch from rallycross to the off-road Extreme E series? And, if you could explain, what were the biggest challenges that you faced with the switch?

JK: “The Extreme E car is a lot heavier and bigger than I’ve ever driven before, and as you know I’ve never done off-road racing. It was very difficult to judge and understand the terrain that the car could and could not handle. As off-road use to be a bit more long-distance race, Extreme E is very much a sprint race and every tenth of a second counts. Sharing the car with Molly [Taylor] was also a new experience and switching drivers during the race was a challenge. In the end, all turned out good and we, manage to win!”

A new era of World RX awaits with new opportunities, but one thing is for sure, the name Johan Kristoffersson will be right up there setting new records.