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FIVE REASONS WHY WE CAN'T WAIT FOR LATVIA

Latvia hosts its third ever FIA World Rallycross Championship round this weekend in Riga, but it won’t be the first time this season that many of the World RX teams and drivers have been to the Bikernieki circuit.

In July, Latvia RX held the official mid-season World RX test, where Team Peugeot Total and EKS Audi Sport both set competitive times against World RX Champions PSRX Volkswagen Sweden.

Below are five other reasons why we can’t wait for Latvia RX to get underway.

Wurz and Muller are back

In addition to the 15 permanent World RX drivers this weekend at in Riga, five wildcard and round-by-round drivers will take to the start grid, including a second World RX appearance for two-time Le Mans winner and Formula 1 podium finisher Alex Wurz with MJP Racing Team Austria. He is joined in the team by two-time World RX event winner Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen, who made his debut with the team at Loheac. Also making his return this weekend is Switzerland’s Nico Muller, racing an Audi S1 for EKS Audi Sport a year after making his first World RX final in Riga.

Euro RX finale

The fifth and final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercar is held at Latvia RX this weekend. Latvia’s Reinis Nitiss leads the standings by 26 points and if he qualifies for the semi-finals will secure the Supercar crown. His closest rival is France’s Cyril Raymond, who won at Loheac RX two weeks ago, but there will be action through the field in Euro RX Supercar and Super1600.

First all-dry Latvia RX in prospect

The first event Latvia RX event was held in torrentially wet conditions in 2016 and it was nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb who came out on top to score his first World RX victory. The 2017 event also featured rain, but this season, fingers crossed, the weather looks good for Latvia RX, but whatever the weather, nothing dampens the enthusiasm of the Latvian fans.

Doran gets second GCK run

Britain’s Liam Doran produced a star performance at Loheac RX two weeks ago by making the semi-finals in GC Kompetition’s Megane RS RX. In Q3 at Loheac he was second quickest but was forced out of the running in the semis with a puncture. This weekend, the ‘British Bomb’ is back for a second outing and is hoping to improve on his French performance.

Tight for second

Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson might be 59 points in the lead of the World RX Drivers’ Championship, but the battle for second is still any one of five drivers for the taking. Latvia RX could play a critical role in deciding who stands the best chance of attending the FIA Gala at the end of the season. EKS’ Andreas Bakkerud is second before round nine, but he is just 14 points ahead of Peugeot’s Sebastien Loeb, who is sixth.

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