WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
Sweden
Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Sweden
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Sat 13 Aug 2022

World Championship heavyweights reignite battle

Timmy Hansen and Johan Kristoffersson ended the 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship tied on points at the summit of the standings – with the latter clinching his fourth career crown on countback. Today, they began the 2022 campaign in similar fashion – this time in Hansen’s favour – as the series’ eagerly-anticipated electric era sparked spectacularly into life in Hell.

Timmy Hansen and Johan Kristoffersson ended the 2021 FIA World Rallycross Championship tied on points at the summit of the standings – with the latter clinching his fourth career crown on countback. Today (13 August), they began the 2022 campaign in similar fashion – this time in Hansen’s favour – as the series’ eagerly-anticipated electric era sparked spectacularly into life in Hell.

On Hell’s return to the World RX calendar following a three-year absence, Kristoffersson threw his Volkswagen RX1e around the challenging Lånkebanen circuit with wilful abandon right from the outset, stunning spectators with a sensational send into the joker during the new SuperPole session that saw his car briefly pointing in completely the wrong direction. Needless to say, he ended up quickest.

The defending world champion set the pace again in heat one – aided by a blistering start – before Hansen produced a similarly electrifying launch in heat two to turn the tables and cement the top spot in the overnight order, with the fastest lap of the day to his credit for good measure.

“We’ve had a very good day today,” acknowledged the Swede, who was pushed all the way in heat two by countryman Kristoffersson. “There are no points awarded for the heats, of course, and this is only the first day of what will be a long season so there is plenty still to learn, but most of all I’m happy the car is working, it’s been reliable and it’s looking good. And every time we go out on-track, we keep getting faster...”

In the sister Peugeot 208 RX1e, Kevin Hansen was consistently ‘best-of-the-rest’ on his way to third overall, ahead of Niclas Grönholm as Construction Equipment Dealer Team struggled to match the speed of Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS and Hansen World RX Team on the opening day.

In the supporting FIA RX2e Championship, star rookie Viktor Vranckx picked up from where he had left off at Höljes last month by getting the better of his Scandinavian rivals in their ‘backyard’. Coached by last year’s champion Guillaume De Ridder, the Belgian doubled up with the best time in both heats, pushed hard by Isak Sjökvist and the increasingly impressive Pablo Suárez.

Olympic skiing champion Aksel Lund Svindal, meanwhile, betrayed few nerves on his rallycross debut as he got stuck in with enthusiasm and thrilled the crowd with his fearless approach – to say nothing of a surprising turn-of-speed.

In the FIA European Rallycross Championship, championship leader Anton Marklund again proved unbeatable behind the wheel of his SET Promotion Hyundai i20, but with series returnee Fraser McConnell and home hero Andreas Bakkerud hot on his heels, the Swede knows he will have no time to relax tomorrow as he bids to avenge the disappointment of losing what would have been his maiden World RX victory in Hell three years ago.

Kobe Pauwels was the class of the field in Euro RX3, although he had to give best to chief title rival Jan Černý – by the margin of a single tenth-of-a-second – in heat one. Behind them, Marius Solberg Hansen maintained the momentum from his Höljes triumph last time out in third.

The action at Ramudden World RX of Norway continues tomorrow (Sunday, 14 August) with heat three, the progression races and the all-important semi-finals and final. Every moment of the entertainment both on and off-track can be watched live on RX+. Details can be found here.