LATVIA RX TRACK PREVIEW WITH REINIS NITISS
The first ever FIA World Rallycross Championship event in Latvia takes place at the Bikernieki circuit in Riga this weekend, so we caught up with Latvia’s first ever World RX race winner Reinis Nitiss to find out what will make the new circuit unique.
“The biggest difference from other tracks on the calendar is that it feels like you are driving on a street circuit, because there is a barrier on both sides of the track and when you enter the corners you can’t see the exit,” said Nitiss. “The loose surface is hard, similar to Loheac, with quite a lot of grip on the clean line. But when you go off line by even ten centimetres, you will be in the fence I think. You can’t make any mistakes, if you do then you will be out! For sure I think it will suit the guys from circuit racing, but you still have to be sideways on the gravel and push hard to set a good lap time.”
Nitiss, who will drive an OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta this weekend and compatriot Janis Baumanis, who races for the World RX Team Austria squad, are two of only a handful of drivers who have already driven on the new circuit, at an official test session earlier this year. “From the start line, there’s a left-right chicane and then back onto the straight,” explains Nitiss. “We don’t know how that will work with five or six cars going into it at the same speed, so that will be interesting. Then there’s a long left, another small straight and a hairpin onto the gravel. Then a long right hander on the gravel, where it’s hard to see the exit - you have to put the car sideways and know exactly where the apex is. Then it’s a fast left corner and a straight onto the biggest jump, and then braking immediately into a left-hairpin, which I really like. Then there’s a small straight, where the track splits from the normal line and the joker lap. There’s a right hander for both and a jump in each. On the normal track you have to jump the car sideways, then a right corner, over a kerb and a double left, where you can’t see the exit. Then it’s back on the straight to the finish."
Read the official preview for the event here.
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