WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH WORLD RX FROM KOUVOLA
Thursday 27th of August 2020
After a gap of just a few days since the season opener, the second instalment of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship is held this weekend at Kouvola, for the CapitalBox World RX of Finland. Here are six reasons to watch this weekend.
Return to Kouvola
For the first time since 2014, this Saturday and Sunday World Rallycross Supercars will race head-to-head on the challenging tree-lined Kouvola Circuit. Many of the drivers in the 2020 World RX field have raced at the Finnish circuit before, but some have not, like Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson and Mattias Ekstrom, and Germany’s Timo Scheider, which will make practice on Saturday morning all the more important for all of the teams and drivers.
Battle for Drivers’ points lead
Kristoffersson and Ekstrom battled hard at the front of the finals in rounds one and two at the World RX of Sweden last weekend and were bumper-to-bumper as they crossed the finish line in round two on Sunday. So far in 2020, only the Volkswagen Polo and Audi S1 drivers have set a quickest time in the qualifiers, but with as many as 15 drivers capable of setting a quickest time, especially in the forecast changeable conditions in Finland this weekend, it’s all to play for.
Doran’s fight back
Great Britain’s Liam Doran, the Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel driver, had a difficult time of things at Holjes, his weekend’s hopes ended by technical issues with the Renault Megane RS RX. But with a week to re-prepare the car, Doran’s knowledge of the Kouvola circuit and the pace shown by him and team mate, Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud, when things were going well last weekend, Doran could spring a surprise in Finland.
No less than five Finnish drivers will race this weekend, led by GRX Taneco’s Niclas Gronholm. He is joined in the Gronholm RX team by 2019 Finnish champion Juha Rytkonen in the team’s third Hyundai i20. 2016 Finnish Champion and 2019 World RX driver Jere Kalliokoski, multiple Finnish Atro Maatta and 2020 World RX regular, Ferratum Team’s Jani Paasonen, will all race Ford Fiestas in their home event.
Turn two drama
The last time World RX visited Finland, in both wet and dry conditions turn two on the Kouvola circuit was a major challenge. Sweden’s Timmy Hansen rolled his Peugeot 208 in a qualifying race after contact, and all but two cars in semi-final two ended up in a multi-car pile-up in the wet. That corner could provide plenty of action through this weekend.
Abbring returns to fold
The new Unkorrupted World RX team, run by GCK, will switch Lithuania’s Rokas Baciuska for the Netherlands’ Kevin Abbring in its Renault Clio RS RX, alongside France’s Guerlain Chicherit for the Kouvola rounds this weekend as it aims to push forward the development of its car. Baciuska didn’t have the success he or the team hoped for in Sweden, and by giving development driver Abbring the seat for Finland, will hope to climb its way towards the front of the field.Share this story on Facebook Share this story on Twitter