Driver

BRITISH CHAMPION ROOKE JOINS RX2; BELGIAN ENTRIES REVEALED

Reigning MSA British Rallycross Champion Dan Rooke has reached an 11th-hour agreement to contest the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires in 2017, with an 18-strong field officially unveiled for the season curtain-raiser in Belgium next month.

Since becoming the youngest driver ever to lift the RX Supercar laurels in Britain last autumn, Rooke has been targeting graduation to the FIA World Rallycross Championship’s rebranded feeder series, and whilst he is still lacking the budget to complete the full campaign, the 19-year-old is confident of entering at least five of the seven rounds.

Rooke arrives in RX2 with an impressive CV, having similarly sealed the spoils in the MSA British Autocross Championship in 2012 and the MSA British Rallycross Championship SuperNational class three years later – on both occasions, as with his Supercar success, at his very first attempt.

Whilst he is well aware that RX2 will likely represent his fiercest challenge yet, the former British Rallycross Driver of the Year is excited about taking to the track to see how he compares against a wealth of international opposition.

“A lot of hard work has gone into putting this deal together, and I’m relieved to have finally got it over the line,” he said. “It was touch-and-go for a while as to whether I’d be racing at all this year, so to be on the grid in my number one choice of series is fantastic and I really can’t wait for the season to begin now.

“RX2 is unquestionably the place to be for anybody keen to catch the eye of World RX teams and it is clearly going to be a hugely competitive championship, with a lot of drivers who have already proven their potential in RX Lites and several unknown quantities in the shape of newcomers switching from different disciplines. It’s a real mixed bag, and that makes it extremely difficult to call.

“Given my lack of experience in the car, I don’t want to set my sights too high but I think finishing on the podium is a reasonable goal – and ultimately, I want to maintain my career momentum to continue climbing the rallycross ladder.”

Rooke will be one of 18 entrants on the grid at Mettet in Belgium for the opening round of the campaign on 12-14 May, with no fewer than eight different nationalities set to battle it out for glory. A full entry list can be found below.

The 2017 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires will subsequently take in six rounds across three continents in support of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, visiting Lydden Hill in Great Britain (26-28 May), Hell in Norway (9-11 June), Höljes in Sweden (30 June – 2 July), Trois-Rivières in Canada (4-6 August) and Lohéac in France (1-3 September) before concluding in Cape Town in South Africa (10-12 November).

2017 RX2 Belgium Entry List

5 Guillame De Ridder BEL
7 Ghislain de Mevius BEL
8 Simon Wågø Syversen NOR
9 Glenn Haug NOR
11 Tanner Whitten USA
12 Anders Michalak SWE
13 Cyril Raymond FRA
19 Andreas Bäckman SWE
26 Jessica Bäckman SWE
33 Tejas Hirani KEN
40 Dan Rooke GBR
51 Sandra Hultgren SWE
52 Simon Olofsson SWE
55 Vasiliy Gryazin LVA
56 Thomas Holmen NOR
58 Santosh Berggren SWE
66 William Nilsson SWE
69 Sondre Evjen NOR

 

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