SEVEN TALKING POINTS AHEAD OF CATALUNYA RX
Tuesday 23rd of April 2019
It’s race week! Round Two of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, the World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona takes place this weekend.
Here’s seven reasons why we can’t wait for #CatalunyaRX.
World RX Returns to Europe
After starting the season outside Europe for the very first time with round one at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, World RX returns to Europe this week at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a venue that has held World RX events since 2015, and opened the season in 2017 and 2018.
Hansen and Gronholm resume challenge for points lead
Sweden’s Kevin Hansen leads the World RX Drivers’ Championship for the first time ever following his maiden victory in Abu Dhabi, but his win only came after a post-race penalty for on track winner Niclas Gronholm. Hansen and Gronholm may be two of the youngest drivers in the field, but their round one battle confirmed their speed and experience – both are hungry to fight for the World RX title this year.
Hansens Vs Bakkerud battle set to continue
The battle between Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud and Hansen brothers Timmy and Kevin began in the day one press conference in Abu Dhabi, when Bakkerud and Kevin Hansen exchanged words about contact in Q2. Bakkerud and Timmy Hansen then had THAT crash in Q3 that ultimately put both out of the event. There’s no love lost between two of the biggest names in the sport, and all three drivers will want to come out on top this weekend.
First of three rounds in five weeks
It’s the start of a busy period for the World RX teams and drivers. The cars arrived back into Europe from round one just over a week ago, then after Barcelona this weekend there’s just one weekend break before round three at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, then another one weekend gap before the Speedmachine Festival at Silverstone. In just over a month, we will have a much clearer idea who will be fighting for the title this season.
Hoy joins the fray
Six time Olympic gold winner Chris Hoy will make his World RX debut this weekend in Barcelona, Racing a Ford Fiesta for the Xite Racing team. Hoy tested the car at Pembrey in the U.K. recently and is excited about his rallycross debut. (Check out our Q&A with Chris here)
New winner guaranteed at Catalunya RX
The winner’s trophy in Barcelona has so far been claimed by Petter Solberg, Mattias Ekstrom and Johan Kristoffersson, but several of the current drivers, including Timmy Hansen, Andreas Bakkerud, Timo Scheider and Timur Timerzyanov have stood on the podium in World RX at the circuit and will all be in the hunt to become the next winner in Barcelona this weekend.
Support classes begin
The RX2 International Series and FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600 support classes make their first starts of the season this weekend, with a gaggle of new and returning drivers ready to fight for the international rallycross titles. Keep an eye out for support class previews later in the week.
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