LARSSON LOOKS TO EXTEND WINNING RUN IN ESTERING
Thursday 15th of August 2019
The fourth round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship takes place at the legendary Estering circuit in Germany this weekend, August 17-18, with Sweden’s Robin Larsson looking to extend his unbeaten run in Euro RX Supercar.
The Estering, in northern Germany, has hosted international rallycross events since 1973. Located 30 miles south of Hamburg, the traditional German RX track is just 950 metres long but features a hairpin after the start-finish straight and a long, downhill run between turns one and two.
The all-gravel joker lap exits at the finish line so races are often decided by the last throw of the dice.
The event is the first standalone FIA European Rallycross Championship round since 2013. The entry list features 20 European Supercars along with a full-house of 25 cars from the Euro RX Super1600 category.
In Euro RX Supercar, JC Raceteknik’s Larsson has taken maximum points in his Audi S1 at the previous rounds in Great Britain, Norway and Sweden to head the standings on 90 points.
Larsson, the 2014 Euro RX Champion, is returning to the series after a stint in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, and is favourite for the title in 2019 with two rounds remaining, in France and Latvia, after Germany.
“The European Championship has gone well for us so far and we have benefited from having good race pace at all events,” Larsson said.
“Right now we have a reassuring lead in the championship, but we expect strong competition in Germany. Estering is a fun and tight circuit, but I have to keep pushing, keep my head down, avoid any trouble and continue to pick up some more valuable points towards the championship.”
Joint second in the 2019 standings are France’s Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (DA Racing) along with Norway’s Thomas Bryntesson (TBRX) on 66 points.
On a previous visit to Estering in 2015, JB Dubourg said the atmosphere was something to savour. “Estering is a traditional rallycross track. The atmosphere is unique because the track is like an arena and you race in the middle of the track with spectators all around you,” he recalls.
“I believe the Peugeot 208 will be well suited to the circuit as you need a car with a lot of traction because the track surface is slippery in the bumpiest sections.
As for his championship chances, he says: “I am still a way off (Robin) Larsson but I will give it 100 per cent and make the most of the opportunities that come my way. Mathematically I have a chance and I’m hungry and will fight for the title to the end.”
Younger brother Andrea Dubourg, who is tied for sixth place on 47 points, is buoyed by the fact that fellow-Frenchman Davy Jeanney won at Estering in 2015, driving the Peugeot 208 now run by DA Racing.
Andrea, who competed at Estering in Super1600 four years’ ago, is also looking forward to tackling the unique challenges of Estering. “It is definitely one of my favourite tracks with lots of sideways action on the gravel and high speed tarmac sections so it has a good mix,” he said.
“Traction is the key. I’ve watched a lot of videos from last year to analyse different drivers and their driving styles. Being realistic, I won’t be champion this year but my aim is to finish in a title podium position with my brother.”
Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand has turned heads in the Eklund Motosport VW Beetle this season with the highlight being second place in the final on home ground in Holjes, and lies fourth in the championship on 52 points.
There are three Germans among the Euro Supercar field. The ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport squad run a pair of Seat Ibizas for Rene Munnich and Mandie August while Andreas Steffen competes in a Ford Fiesta. Additional Fiestas will be run by Finland’s Mikko Ikonen, Lithuania’s Pailius Pleskovas and Norway’s Stein Egil Jenssen.
Sweden’s Hedstroms Motorsport enter two Volkswagen Polos for Peter Hedstrom and Christer Dalmans, who makes his Euro RX debut.
Mario Barbosa heads to the Estering circuit in Germany, as the only Portuguese driver to compete in the FIA European Rallycross Championship.
He will pilot a Citroen DS3 under the Compincar RX Team banner. “The Holjes debut was a moment to remember, as it is one of the most famous tracks in the world. The event in Estering will be similar in terms of learning, as it will be completely new to us,” he said.
“The level of the FIA Euro RX is very high and we have a determined but realistic stance, knowing that we have to discover the circuits and evolve with each session on the track. This is also the goal in Germany.”
In Euro RX Super1600, Russia’s Aydar Nuriev leads a trio of Volland Racing drivers in Audi A1s at the head of the standings.
Nuriev had wins in rounds one and two – in Catalunya and Belgium - and was second in Sweden to stand on 86 points.
Team-mates Hungary’s Gergely Marton and Russia’s Arthur Egorov are on 64 and 59 respectively.
Norway’s Marius Bermingrud, the winner in Sweden, poses the biggest threat to the top three in Estering. A total of 25 drivers from nine different countries, will face the starter for round four in Germany.
Find full entry lists here.