YEAR IN REVIEW: SCHEIDER HEADS THE CHASING PACK
Monday 30th of December 2019
We’ve covered the teams in a look at the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship season, but there were also four individual single-car permanent entries, here’s how they fared.
Team: ALL-INKL.COM Muennich MotorsportCar: SEAT Ibiza RX
Drivers: Timo Scheider (GER) #44
Championship Points: 109
Championship Position: 9th
Double DTM champion and former World RX podium finisher Timo Scheider returned to World RX full time for 2019 with an updated Seat Ibiza RX Supercar from ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport. Initially a dark horse to fight for the title, Scheider got his year off to a strong start by taking P3 in qualifying at Abu Dhabi, and making it into the final.
But, he only made it to the final on two further occasions, at Silverstone where he was fourth and in the final round in South Africa, where he was forced to retired with a broken driveshaft while racing Timmy Hansen for P4. Scheider made the semi-finals at every round except Sweden but poor luck in the semis meant he wasn’t able to fight for a second career podium.
Team: EKS Sport
Car: Audi S1 RX
Drivers: Krisztian Szabo (HUN) #123
Championship Points: 91
Championship Position: 10th
Double Super1600 Champion Krisztian Szabo had impressed with two Euro RX Supercar drives in an EKS Audi S1 in 2018, and stepped up to World RX with Mattias Ekstrom’s team for 2019 in a single-car entry, but ran alongside the RX Cartel cars in the paddock.
Like Scheider, Szabo had a strong start to the season, he finished P4 in Abu Dhabi after taking P6 in qualifying and then made the final again at Silverstone, but those would be his only final appearances. He qualified for the semis everywhere except Norway and Sweden, but despite showing good speed, especially in a fight with Janis Baumanis for a place in the final in Barcelona, he wasn’t able repeat his early season form as the year progressed.
Team: Esmotorsport Labas-GAS
Car: Skoda Fabia RX
Drivers: Rokas Baciskau (LTU) #14, Francois Duval (BEL) #67, Kevin Abbring (NLD) #24, Matvey Furazhkin (RUS) #12
Championship Points (Abbring): 35
Championship Position: 16th
Reigning Euro RX Super1600 Champion Rokas Baciuska took Esmotorsport’s Skoda Fabia straight into the semi-finals in round one at Yas Marina, but the Lithuanian split with the team after just two rounds. Former WRC star Francois Duval drove the car at Spa but was unable to score points, and it wasn’t until Dutchman Kevin Abbring made his rallycross debut in Norway where the car showed its true potential. In wet conditions, Abbring led the final and on another day might have taken victory. He finished fourth, and repeated the result at the next round in Sweden.
Abbring was the highest championship finisher for the team in 16th, but Russian autocross driver Matvey Furazhkin joined the team for the last three rounds and began learning the sport with an eye on the future, taking a best result of P13 in South Africa.
Team: Xite Racing
Car: BMW Mini Cooper SX1
Drivers: Oliver Bennett (GBR) #42
Championship Points: 12
Championship Position: 20th
Great Britain’s Oliver Bennett competed as a round-by-round entrant in 2018, but raced as a full-time permanent individual with his unique BMW Mini in 2019 and showed an improvement in pace and overall performance. His year began with a difficult start in Abu Dhabi where he rolled the car during qualifying, coupled with a challenging weekend in Canada mid-year.
He made his first career semi-final at Silverstone, before ending the race early in dramatic fashion with a fire under the car, but also made the semi-finals to complete his campaign in South Africa. The Xite team also ran a second car at selected events, notably Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy racing the car at Barcelona RX to score World Championship points.Share this story on Facebook Share this story on Twitter