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. 

Wednesday 31 May 2023

An electrifying Portuguese battle is on the cards, as Kristoffersson hunts sixth championship crown.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
The second season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship's electric era will race into life at Montalegre (this weekend), and h
aving clinched an extraordinary fifth title last year, Johan Kristoffersson is seeking a sixth title in 2023 – but the Swede has a host of high-caliber rivals all determined to stop him in his tracks.

Amongst them is Timmy Hansen, the driver who has finished runner-up to Kristoffersson in each of the past two seasons. The two Swedes clashed at Montalegre last September and have engaged in countless close battles since – with many more surely in prospect over the coming months. 

Hansen's younger Kevin Hansen will also look for an upturn in form this season, as they pilot two fresh-looking Peugeot 208 RX1es. 

Finishing third in the standings in both 2021 and 2022, last year's Portuguese winner (round 5), Niclas Gronholm returns with the Construction Equipment Dealer Team and will look to complete the hat-trick this weekend.

His team-mate for the upcoming season is history maker Klara Andersson, who became the first female to reach the podium in World Rallycross last year. Having concluded her rookie season with arguably her finest performance to date, the young Swede aims to build upon her impressive progress.

Another newcomer who firmly established himself among the elite in 2022 was none other than Gustav Bergström, who claimed three consecutive podium finishes and is now targeting the next step. 

Kristoffersson's team-mate Ole Christian Veiby in the sister VW, has his sights solidly set on breaking his World RX duck following an accomplished comeback that yielded top three results in half of the rounds, despite suffering from more than his fair share of ill fortune.

"It feels good to be back with something familiar. Last year everything felt new to me," Veiby said. "I'm getting closer to Johan, so it would be nice to even win a race this year."

Fresh from the rally-raid championship, Guerlain Chicherit returns after reviving an automotive icon - the Lancia Delta Integrale, which made its World RX debut in the season finale at the Nürburgring and proved to be competitive straight off the bat.

Chicherit is lining up two Lancias with the Special ONE Racing team in 2023, he will be partnered by none other than WRC legend Sébastien Loeb, who returns following four seasons away from the grid. During his previous stint in the World Rallycross, the Frenchman achieved two victories and 15 further podium appearances from 36 outings. 

Completing the field in 2023 is two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider in the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport SEAT Ibiza RX1e – another championship returnee. The German – a veteran of 42 World RX starts to date – is renowned as a tough competitor on the track.

With the field firmly poised to take the fight to Kristoffersson, we are without a doubt in for an electrifying season. 

Speaking at the post-season test in Portugal last week, Johan said: "The new car is faster and so much more fun to drive. This year we will see tighter racing and more takeovers."

These words are rather ominus for his rivals... let the racing begin!  


DAY ONE: Johan Kristoffersson (best lap: 40.229)

DAY TWO: Ole Christian Veiby (best lap: 39.772)

DAY THREE: Johan Kristoffersson (best lap: 38.959) 


Portugal’s picturesque and historic Montalegre track formed part of the original FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar back in 2014, and its undulating layout and unpredictable weather has produced many breathtaking battles over the years.

The 945m track is located 1,000m above sea level, requiring engines to be finely tuned to deal with the altitude. From a long start/finish straight, drivers brake hard for the first corner – a tight right-hand hairpin – before taking a little bit of kerb as they flick through the left-right chicane that follows.

A fast left-hander then leads downhill into a right as the surface turns from asphalt into the loose and sandy gravel that characterises Montalegre before a steep uphill climb precedes another left followed by a long, fast right-hander. The final section of the lap is marked by a tricky surface change and a series of chicanes – inviting drivers to brush the barriers on both sides, but without getting too close...


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 1 - WORLD RX OF PORTUGAL (Portguese time). 




HEAT 1: 13:30

HEAT 2: 15:30



HEAT 3: 10:30

HEAT 4: 13:00

SEMI-FINALS and FINALS (from): 15:00

PODIUM: 15:50

Thursday 4 May 2023

Reigning champions Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS sets sights on World RX title defense with three-car assault.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool.
Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS has its sights firmly set on a successful title defense in the FIA World Rallycross Championship this year, after unveiling the three-strong line-up with which it will do battle for Drivers’ and Teams’ glory.

The Kristoffersson Motorsport-run squad set the pace from the outset during the inaugural electric World RX era last year, with super Swede Johan Kristoffersson winning eight of the ten rounds and topping every SuperPole session behind the wheel of his Volkswagen RX1e – on his inexorable march to a fifth World Championship crown.

The five-time World Champion Kristoffersson will return in 2023 to defend his crown but is aware that the team will be hunted rather than hunters. 

"It’s going to be fun! We are clearly the hunted, but that’s a position I enjoy. The competition was already tough last year, and now we have Sébastien Loeb coming in – and everybody knows what he’s capable of," Kristoffersson said.

"It’s good to have had the opportunity to drive during the winter and we have done what we can to further optimise our cars, but I am absolutely sure that the other teams have done the same. It will be exciting to see who has done their homework best."

Team-mate Ole Christian Veiby contributed to the successful campaign of the Teams’ title with five podium appearances of his own, celebrating his full-time return to the dual-surface discipline following an absence of almost seven years with fourth place in the championship standings. 

"I feel more confident and like I can lower my shoulders a bit this season. Last year went relatively well for me, but it will be easier to come back with the experience gained and build upon what we have started – and the winter rallies have enabled me to add a lot of miles under my belt," the Norweigan said.

"I need to get onto the pace faster during race weekends, but whereas last season, many of the circuits were new to me, now I know much more about what to expect. Montalegre is a nice track that suits us well, so hopefully we can get off to a strong start."

While not running under the same Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS banner, 20-year-old Gustav Bergström enjoyed an excellent rookie campaign in rallycross’ top flight, reaching the rostrum on three consecutive occasions mid-season on his way to sixth in the overall classification. The young star's calendar is yet to be finalized due to clashing commitments, but he aims to 'do even better in 2023'.

"I still have a lot to learn, and I was probably a little too kind in many situations last year, but I’ll continue to watch what Johan does and try to copy and paste..." Bergstrom said.

All three drivers will be back for a renewed assault on honours in 2023, and none have been idle over the winter months. Kristoffersson and Veiby have kept themselves sharp by competing in various rallies and regional rallycross competitions, with the Swede also active in the Race of Champions and Extreme E and the Norwegian spending a lot of time at KMS’ Arvika workshop. Bergström, for his part, has been busy honing his skills in ice-driving and go-karts.

"We feel well-prepared for the upcoming World RX season. Johan is our anchor and a great team-mate for both Ole Christian and Gustav, and his performances and results speak for themselves. We build a lot around him," Tommy Kristoffersson, Team Manager, Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS, said.

"Ole Christian made a strong comeback last year, but due to some technical problems with his car that cost him a lot of track time, he didn’t get to show his full potential. He is extremely focussed and dedicated, and our hope is that he will win a round this year and fight for a top three championship finish. He will be very important in the Teams’ battle, while Gustav has real natural talent and has impressed me greatly with his calm nature and smart driving.

"That continuity can only play in our favour, and it is the same with our team members and partners. We have an incredibly skilled group of engineers and mechanics boasting enormous experience and expertise, and we are humbly grateful for the ongoing and faithful support of Volkswagen, Bauhaus and Red Bull. We will do everything we can to repay their trust in us and to fight for both championship titles once again."

Thursday 20 April 2023

Andersson signs multi-year deal with CE Dealer Team.

Rallycross star Klara Andersson has been rewarded for her impressive rookie season in the FIA World Rallycross Championship with a multi-year contract at the Construction Equipment Dealer Team.

Andersson joined the World RX grid in Hell, Norway last summer – immediately turning heads as she advanced to the final on her debut. She went on to finish ahead of experienced team-mate Niclas Grönholm – seven times an event-winner in the series.

Barely two months later, the talented Swede made history by becoming the first female driver ever to ascend the podium in rallycross’ top flight when she placed third at Montalegre in Portugal. She then capped her maiden campaign by coming within an ace of defeating multiple world champion Johan Kristoffersson in the pair’s progression race at Germany’s Nürburgring.

Klara continued her impressive form winning the RX150 Rallycross round at Lydden Hill last weekend. Having penned a new deal, the Swedish Superstar is aiming to accelerate her progression in the second season of World RX’s ground-breaking new electric era in 2023, when she will join forces with Grönholm once again.

“Chances like these are a one-in-a million opportunity, and I am beyond grateful for the team’s belief in me as a driver. I’m super-excited to see what we can achieve together in the future," she said.

“Starting my World RX career with CE Dealer Team last year was amazing, and to continue with them for 2023 and beyond is really inspiring for me as a young driver. I’m very happy to keep racing with my team-mate Niclas – we work really well together. Now I’ve done my rookie year and I’ve learned so much, it’s time for the next step forward.”

Team Manager Jussi Pinomäki has high hopes for what Andersson can accomplish over the coming years with the team.

“We are delighted to have Klara on-board with us in a long-term set-up after a really impressive first World RX season,” he said. “No matter who you are, your debut season in an FIA World Championship is a baptism of fire, but Klara handled it like a driver with considerably more experience than she has, taking leaps forward in her personal development throughout the year. We look forward to a thrilling journey ahead, challenging the boundaries and norms of motorsport together.”

Tuesday 18 April 2023

EXCLUSIVE: “It wasn’t easy” after being dropped by Red Bull, but “DTM drive was the best thing to happen” as “I quickly overcame my frustration” and “had fun racing again” - Da Costa.

PHOTO CREDIT: TAG Heuer Porsche.
AUTHOR: Junaid Samodien

Success in life is not dished out, it's earned! But how you achieve that success is quite a complex task for everyone, including elite athletes who encounter and face many highs and lows throughout their careers. With good quality coaching and training (both mentally and physically) each individual or sportsman will have the necessary tools to overcome any obstacle and push through to succeed.  

Antonio Felix Da Costa is one such example, of overcoming a potential career-altering moment, and still persevering despite adversity coming through to succeed and enjoy racing once more. 

If we rewind a few years, da Costa’s motorsport career could have been a lot different. In 2008, the Portuguese star competed in Formula Renault, and a year later, he won the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Championship. As a reward, he was given a test drive with Formula One team, Sahara Force India at the 2010 young drivers’ test where he placed third on the timing sheets. 

With a blossoming career, the Portuguese driver competed in GP3 Series, Formula Three Cup, and the Macau Grand Prix with the Carlin Motorsport team, and soon after was signed to the Red Bull junior driver programme headed by Dr. Helmut Marko. 

Having joined a prestigious junior driver programme, da Costa took part in Formula One test sessions with Red Bull Racing from 2012-13, alongside his regular racing programme. 

In 2013, he finished third place in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship. That year, he was informed that his future was secure with Red Bull and that he would make the step into Formula One with Scuderia Toro Rosso, but that never materialized. The seat instead went to GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat. 

Despite having his dreams dashed right in front of his very eyes, da Costa found a home in the DTM championship in 2014 with BMW, and that same year, he joined the all-electric Formula E Championship with Amlin Aguri. 

Despite the blows, he got back up and fought to succeed, as Vince Lombardi Jr. once said: “It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.” To this day, the 31-year-old driver competes in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship. 

2022 FIA WEC LMP2 CHAMPIONS - Will Stevens, Roberto González, and Antonio Felix Da Costa (right).
PHOTO CREDIT: Antonio Felix Da Costa. 
With a junior championship, and two FIA world titles to his record, Antonio Felix da Costa has a wealth of experience when it comes to dealing with all sorts of highs and lows, but as we know for athletes mental strength is one of the most important elements that goes hand-in-hand with training. 

Some may argue that racing drivers can’t be classified as an athlete, but they are wrong! Why? Simply, because driving a car competitively at high speeds takes a tremendous toll on the human body and mind. These drivers are required to be physically fit, and mentally strong, as well as have the ability to make decisions within split seconds whilst driving. But, how important is the mental strength of a driver? 

“Very, very important,” Antonio Felix da Costa told Slipstream SA. “Confidence is a big part of our performance once we're in the car. And it's easy for it to be shut down sometimes with results or maybe not having the right people around you or just being on a wave of bad results.”

“Now that I'm a little bit older, a bit more experienced, I've been through some bad slumps many, many times. And, I still worry, of course, because I don't like being in a wave of bad results, but I have enough experience and knowledge, and I work with a mental coach back home. I always kind of find my way back. And so yeah, it's actually fun, really fun part of the process when you're struggling and you come back,” he said.

In life, having a dream versus achieving it is a very difficult task, but many accomplish them with hard work and perseverance. Having had a successful junior career, as previously mentioned, and being drafted into the Red Bull junior drivers programme, Antonio could have been Portugal’s sixth Formula 1 driver behind Tiago Monteiro, but unfortunately, he received a phone call from Dr. Helmut Marko in October 2013 informing him that he will not progress to Formula 1 in 2014.

It’s never easy having your dreams dashed over the phone but dealing with that disappointment is what defines great sportsmen and women. 

“It wasn't easy, of course, because obviously not only myself but a lot of fans, family, friends, everyone was kind of thinking that it was a sure thing that I was going to end up in Formula One, and things happened the way they did. And so, obviously, it was already tough on me. But having seen everyone disappointed and sad as well, it's a bit of extra weight on you,” the Portuguese driver explained.

“But I must say, going to DTM was the best thing that happened to me, and becoming a factory driver there. I quickly overcame my frustration and I started having fun racing cars again and that helped obviously.” 

In our current day and age, we see drivers hopping from championship to championship where possible, for example, Formula E to the World Endurance Championship, but is it challenging to adapt or does it come with relative ease thanks to experience? 

“I think experience is part of it,” da Costa said. “But yeah, you know, just driving loads of different cars all the time opens your mindset and it’s actually something that I really like doing.”

Da Costa racing his TAG Heuer Porsche in Cape Town.
PHOTO CREDIT: TAG Heuer Porsche.
It is often said that once the helmet goes on a driver goes into their own zone. Friendships become rivalries, and the beast is unleashed. But, do drivers think of anything specifically when climbing onboard their cars, or when stationary on the grid moments before the start? 

“You think about different things, but I have no problems mixing things up. Once the helmet goes on we are rivals,” he explained.

da Costa believes that mutual respect is important regardless of fierce and competitive rivalries, he says: “If you have respect each other, then you just win or lose. But you need to be a good winner and a good loser. And that's it! I'm able to go for golfing sessions or lunches with these guys (the Formula E drivers). Like, just yesterday [before the Cape Town E-Prix weekend], I had lunch with Nick [Cassidy] and Jean-Eric [Vergne], and I had the great pleasure of beating Nick at golfing (which is a lie), but when the helmet goes we are rivals.” 

Antonio Felix da Costa took his first victory with Porsche TAG in Cape Town after an extraordinary drive from 11th on the grid that included two astounding high-speed overtakes at the tight turn eight. And, after a fourth-place finish last time out in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he now finds himself 28 points off the championship lead in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with ten rounds remaining.

Monday 17 April 2023

Loeb "can't wait" to make World RX return in Lancia Delta.

PHOTO CREDIT: Special ONE Racing
Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb will make a full-time return to the FIA World Rallycross Championship this year behind the wheel of a Lancia Delta Evo-e RX for Special ONE Racing.

Rallycross fans will fondly remember Loeb’s three seasons spent competing in World RX in a Peugeot 208 WRX from 2016 to 2018 – yielding two victories and 15 podium finishes from 36 outings. 

Five years on from his rallycross departure, the Frenchman is back, and he will join forces with Special ONE founder Guerlain Chicherit"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," he said.

"But 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."

"I’m very motivated for the challenge, and I think rallycross is the ideal discipline for electrification because we have a lot of power and the races are short. These cars are exciting to drive, and World RX is the perfect platform to promote their evolution. The show on-track is just amazing, with great fights and even more spectacular action than before, and now we have the opportunity to attract a whole new generation of fans."

PHOTO CREDIT: Special ONE Racing
As a new player in the mobility landscape, Special ONE’s aim is to manufacture and distribute exclusive, eco-friendly retrofits of classic sports vehicles, with the team’s brace of new-generation, 500kW (680bhp) electric rallycross beasts – designed and built by GCK Performance.

Special ONE Racing has committed to run its two Delta Evo-e RXs in World RX for at least three seasons.

The team founder, and four-time Free Skiing World Champion Guerlain Chicherit, gave the Lancia a promising debut at the 2022 World RX season finale at Germany’s Nürburgring, but this year, he aims to make history!

"It’s a dream of mine to be able to align two cars from my own brand with World RX, one of which is entrusted to a sporting legend," he said. "The scene is set to see Special ONE Racing become a top-notch team. From this season, we’ll have the opportunity to make history, becoming the first to have a retrofitted car win a World Championship event. Let’s get going!"

The first of nine rounds in the 2023 FIA World RX season is set to take place on 03 and 04 June in Montalegre, Portugal.

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Grönholm pens new multi-year extension with CE Dealer Team.

PHOTO CREDIT: Red Bull Content Pool
Niclas Grönholm has committed his future to the Construction Equipment Dealer Team after signing a multi-year contract extension. 

The Finn joined the Construction Equipment Dealer Team last year after a lengthy spell with family team GRX Taneco, where he claimed seven podium finishes and six victories.

Grönholm has been a World RX front-runner since 2019 – a year where he could have almost certainly been in the title fight, but unfortunately a bout of appendicitis ruled him out of two events.

Last year, he finished third in the drivers' standings, claiming one victory and a total of four podium finishes, but this year, the Finn is aiming to make further progress. 

“I’m thrilled to get continued trust to move forward in our groundbreaking World RX journey together, which really motivates me ahead of the challenges to come,” Grönholm said.

“While we had a strong first season for the team, I’m never satisfied until we are at the very top – and that’s just what we have worked very hard for throughout the winter. The opposition will no doubt be just as tough this season, but we continue to work in earnest to achieve our goals. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of my PWR RX1e!”

CE Dealer Team debuted in World RX in 2022, placing third in the Teams’ standings. In retaining Niclas, the Swedish squad reinforces its long-term commitment to competing at the international pinnacle of sport and the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

“We reached our initial goals for the first season by winning races, finishing in the top three overall and highlighting a more diverse and sustainable motorsport world,” Team Manager, Jussi Pinomäki said, “but we are far from satisfied.

“We will continue to push the envelope, both on and off-track. The future is electric, inclusive and exciting – something we will continue to work hard for. And our long-term goal of challenging for the FIA World Rallycross Championship titles has not changed.”

Niclas' team-mate will be announced later this week. 

Friday 10 March 2023

The Cape Town E-Prix "fulfilled it’s mission to be a top three race".

PHOTO CREDIT: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship
AUTHOR: Junaid Samodien

The eagerly anticipated Cape Town E-Prix has now come and gone, and according to event promoter Iain Banner “it was a big success.”

Banner, who played an instrumental role in bringing the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to the city, said: “Part of what we are doing with the race was to focus on making a difference, creating jobs and yes, all in the renewable sector, in the green economy.”

The E-Prix “fulfilled it’s mission to be a top three race”, Banner said, who also added that the race was a complete sell-out with 25,983 tickets sold. 

“It was really heartened by Nelson Piquet Jr, one of the Formula E commentators saying: This is the best Formula E race I have ever been to.’ Now, I take those sort of comments with humility.”

Banner also mentioned that he always had confidence that the inaugural Cape Town E-Prix would be a sell, despite the other doubting him, and has set a new target for 2024. “My target for next year is 40,000. I believe quite easily that we will sell 40,000 and that will be sold out,” he said.

Despite the successes of the Africa’s first Formula E race, event promoters E-Movement will look into ways of improving for the future. 

“There are adjustments that are required. For example, we need to improve. We had sufficient food and beverages in our fan areas. We had sufficient quantities, but we didn't have enough distribution points. So we need more local vendors and we want to support local business and I'm looking forward to us expanding on the hospitality offering. It's a full days experience. There's all these things going on that make for an incredible value day so that we will be focusing on,” Banner said. 

The 2.921 kilometer circuit provided quite challenging for the drivers, not only due to the challenging turns 9 and 10, the fast nature of the track, but the bumpy nature of the circuit was a big talking point, which the event promoter aims to address for next year. 

“There are two areas that we'd like to improve on, and that is the bumpy areas on the track, particularly down Beach Road (7, 8 and 9) and turning into Fritz Sonnenberg (turn 10), there were two heavy bumpy areas. Those will be those will be dealt with to create a smoother surface.”

“I don't have the absolute fact, but one of the reasons that Mitch Evans (Jaguar TCS Racing) had an overpower penalty, was because they showed that he had too much power when the car bounced upwards, the inverter somehow showed a higher power delivery because there was no resistance from the road,” Banner said.

Teams, drivers and international media were left quite impressed with the inaugural E-Prix, and are quite hopeful of a return next season, but Banner quickly to addressed the topic, saying: “We signed a five year contract with the five year extension. It was dependent on the outcome of year one. We had to prove our ability to put on a world class race that stands up with the best, and we've done that. Now it's a case of putting the funding together for years two and beyond, which is something I'm immediately focusing my mind on. I know we can make Africa proud. Never mind the Cape or South Africa. We can make Africa proud. Let's do that. Let's do that. Not for the next 5 or 10 years, but for the next 20 years. That's my commitment. I believe that we are well entrenched with the Formula E decision makers.”

With planning well underway for next year, the provisional 2023/24 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is expected to be published around mid-May, whilst the final dates are confirmed at the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in October. 

“I'm very optimistic that we will find Cape Town for the first time on the provisional calendar [for Season 10] because last year we were not,” he said. 

Wednesday 8 March 2023

FEATURE STORY: How Maserati MSG Racing designed its striking Formula E Livery

PHOTO CREDIT: Maserati MSG Racing. 
AUTHOR: Junaid Samodien

Elegance, craftsmanship, performance and pedigree, are but a few descriptive words that one could associate with the iconic Italian automotive brand, Maserati. 

With over 100-years of history, Maserati expanded from a family-run tuning business which rapidly expanded into vehicle and race car manufacturing. And, in 1926, an historic moment happened when they rolled out their first car out of the shop, named “Tipo 26”, which was later raced to victory at the Targa Florio by Alfieri Maserati. 

Soon after their early racing success, the Maserati brothers began to build customer cars to help fund their racing programme. They then decided the company required a new direction, whilst they focused on the engineering side of the company. Adolfo Orsi, an Italian entrepreneur was brought in to oversee the business, but later purchased Maserati, and moved it to Modena.

In the post-war era, Maserati moved to Formula One, which certainly was a challenge at first when going up against a strong Alfa Romeo team, as well as Talbot-Logo, and an emerging force, Ferrari. But, as the years progressed and challenges continued, Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio joined the team, and he took them to two drivers’ championships, 9 Grand Prix and 9 pole positions. The Italian brand remained in F1 until 1969. 

As life evolved, so did the Maserati brand, when the Fiat Group acquired the company in 1993, and through the years, the business began to grow in all spheres, where it then began to compete against other high performance brands, namely: Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW.  

PHOTO CREDIT: Maserati MSG Racing
The biggest surprise came in 2022, when Maserati took a major step forward in solidifying its future in the automotive fraternity, announcing a return to racing after 60-long years, but not in usual combustion engine championships. Instead, the iconic Trident brand will race in the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

And, whilst the announcement raised quite a few questions, including: why, what and when? In the ever-evolving world, and its technology, Formula E is the natural choice for big automotive manufacturers these days. 

“Maserati chose Formula E because it's a natural choice. We were born on track and it was great to come back to the racing circuit, but also because we have a strong mission in E-mobility and our future is electric with the Folgore range,” Giovanni Sgro, Head of Maserati Corse, said. 

“By 2025, every single one of our range, we'll have an electric version, and by 2030 Maserati is only going to produce electric vehicles. So Formula E is a great place for us to showcase our competitiveness and also focus on technology transfer from track to road.” 

The iconic “Tipo” designation returns in 2023, with Maserati’s first electric racing car. The Maserati Tipo Folgore (Type Thunderbolt) was revealed late last year, and features a timeless and iconic blue tone, synonymous with Maserati. 

But something that set’s the Italian automotive brand apart is the distinct livery, which defines the cars character, shape and show casing its history. 

And, whilst a racing livery seems more of a decorative feature in motorsport, sets race cars apart and gives partners more exposure. Just how does a team design their livery, choice the colour, and decide on the branding locations? We investigate this with the help of Giovanni Sgro, the Head of Maserati Corse. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Maserati MSG Racing
From various angles, the Maserati Tipo Folgore (Gen 3 car) captures the imagination of motorsport fans, with it’s elegant livery lines and logo placements, but why has the team actually chosen blue, as they return to racing?

“Blue is our Maserati colour, so we wanted to have that be reflected on the car strongly,” Giovanni Sgro said. 

He goes on further to explain that “the trident is the symbol competitiveness and the white line across the border, you know, this year's shape of the car is triangular, it's very flat and this line really accentuates the colour blue. The contrast is perfect. And then obviously we have the trident on the back of the car has the Italian flag in the centre. We have a couple of things that a represent Maserati on this car, which is obviously the blue, the trident and the Italian flag, we're the only Italian manufacturer in Formula E.”

The visible LGBTQIA+ rainbow colours on the front wing endplates.
PHOTO CREDIT: Maserati MSG Racing
We currently live in a world that that is very decisive, and lacks inclusion, but something that sets the Maserati MSG Racing’s livery apart is their aim to send a message worldwide about equality, diversity and inclusion, and this has been done with the inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ rainbow on the front wing endplate. 

“It's a strong message that the Maserati MSG Racing team wants to continue to, to push forward equality, diversity and inclusion. So, that is why the flag was put on the front wing endplates. It seems like a relevant positioning for that kind of visibility,” he explained. 

When conceptualizing the design of a racing cars livery, elegance, uniqueness and brand visibility are all important elements that need to be taken into account, but how much work actually goes into the design process – months, weeks or days? 

PHOTO CREDIT: Maserati MSG Racing
The Head of Maserati Course, explains the process: “Well, the car was designed by Maserati's Centro Stile, and I don't remember exactly how many weeks we took to design it, but there is a lot of back and forth. There's a lot of concepts, there's a lot of brainstorming, there's a lot of ideas that we want to put forward. You want to change small tweaks, big tweaks, a lot of different things. And so I think that it does take some time, but it's worth it because then when you put the car on track, you also have to design the car based on the visibility that it has on the track. You want to really accentuate not only the base colours, but you also want to accentuate the partners who are part of the team.”

Together with the design of a livery, comes the important placement of partner/sponsor logo’s. These logo placements allow the for more brand awareness and exposure, which helps grow a brands popularity, and funds the team(s). But, just how does a team decide on these placements? 

“That's also part of a design because you don't want to just put them anywhere. You want to make sure that there's a good flow to the car. And that's why the car looks the way it does. I'm biased, but obviously I think the car looks beautiful,” Sgro said. “The simplicity of it is the beauty of this car. And, I personally think that less is more. We did a really great job of making the car look luxurious.”

Slipstream SA would like to thank Elza Smit (Maserati South Africa) and Giovanni Sgro (Head of Maserati Corse) for their assistance in the compilation of this special feature story.