Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Belgium’s Kobe Pauwels is aiming for a professional career in motor sport, with a focus on rallycross, and will race in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600 in 2021.

The 16-year-old will make his debut in an Audi A1 with the multiple championship winning Volland Racing team in rounds two and three of the British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy this weekend as he prepares for next season.

Pauwels has been karting since 2014, and finished second in his first ever event, racing in the BeNeLux Championship at his home circuit in Genk. He won the Mini Max European Championship in 2016 at Bruck in Austria, and went on to win the Rotax Max Eurotrophy finale in Sweden, and just miss out on the CIK FIA Academy Trophy title by a single point. He stepped up to senior competition last year and was fastest throughout the European race at Le Mans, but lost out on victory after contact. Two years ago he also started racing in crosskart in Belgium as a hobby, and last year became national champion driving with Thierry Neuville’s FIA sanctioned Lifelive TN5 Crosscar, despite missing two races due to karting commitments.

“I remember when I was very young and watching my father when he was still racing in rallycross, and he raced against Rolf Volland. As I’m now 16 I’m allowed to race in Super1600. We know the cars are one of the best on the grid and Volland Racing is one of the most experienced teams. My original plan was to start in rallycross in 2021, but with the Covid-19 situation the calendar changed a few times and now I just turned 16, so I could get my rallycross licence. I will take the opportunity to drive this already this year to be better prepared for next year. Of course it’s a learning process for me and getting experience as much as possible but I’m hoping to show some good speed.”

Pauwels said it was after testing an RX2 International Series car last year, he knew where he wanted to target his career. “At the end of last year I tested an RX2 car and thought ‘Wow this is fun!’. On the way home I told my father ‘this is what I want to do’. I hope to be a professional driver in motorsport. With karting experience on tarmac and crosscar on gravel I try to be as complete as possible as a driver that is fast on every surface, like my two Red Bull backed idols Thierry Neuville and Mattias Ekstrom. In 2021 my goal is to be a permanent driver in Super 1600 and crosscar, and of course my eyes are open for the electric future. Like always it will depend on budget and partners.”



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