ERIKSSON: CHAMP GRADUATION PROVES RX2 IS SERVING ITS PURPOSE
RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires founder Andreas Eriksson has wished Cyril Raymond the best of luck for his FIA European Rallycross Championship debut this weekend, highlighting the Frenchman’s progression as further proof of the success of the burgeoning feeder series.
Raymond followed up his RX Lites title triumph with championship glory in RX2 last year, speeding to victory in six of the seven rounds in a near-flawless campaign to clinch the inaugural crown. The 25-year-old has since used that momentum as a springboard to graduate to Euro RX this year in a Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar – a move that Eriksson says is positive for both parties.
“I wish Cyril all the very best in his new challenge,” remarked the Swede, who similarly runs Olsbergs MSE, the outfit for whom Raymond raced last season. “Ultimately, our biggest goal is to see an RX2 Champion one day go on to be crowned World Rallycross Champion at the very highest level of the sport, regardless of what team they are in.
“Cyril was an absolute class act last year, and fully deserved the results that he achieved. Every time he was pushed by his rivals, he rose to the challenge and I am sure he will prove to be a formidable force in Euro RX too. We will follow his career progress with great interest, and look forward to seeing who will succeed him at the top of the RX2 standings in 2018. It’s promising to be another spectacular season.”
Indeed, 17 full-time drivers are signed up to contest the official FIA World Rallycross Championship support series this year, with the opening round taking place at Mettet in Belgium this weekend (11-13 May) – the same event at which Raymond will make his Euro RX bow. The Saint-Raphaël native paid tribute to the role RX2 has played in his career to-date.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in RX2 and would not have the fantastic opportunity I have now without everything I learned in the series, both on and off-track,” he acknowledged.
“Whilst the racing in RX2 is as fierce as you will see anywhere else, in the paddock, there is a great mutual respect between competitors and a real camaraderie – which is far more rare. I wish all of the 2018 drivers the best of luck over the coming months – taking just a quick look at the entry list, whoever wins the title this year will certainly have earned it.”
The 2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires will take in seven rounds across three continents in support of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, visiting Belgium, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Canada, France and South Africa.
2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires Calendar
May 12/13 Mettet, Belgium
May 26/27 Silverstone, Great Britain
June 09/10 Hell, Norway
June 30/July 01 Höljes, Sweden
August 04/05 Trois-Rivières, Canada
September 01/02 Lohéac, France
November 24/25 Cape Town, South Africa