Tue 04 Oct 2022

Spa Event Preview

The battle for glory in the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship will resume in Belgium this weekend (8-9 October), as the sport’s electric trailblazers take to the track at the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

The battle for glory in the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship will resume in Belgium this weekend (8-9 October), as the sport’s electric trailblazers take to the track at the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

The famous Ardennes venue will welcome World RX for the third time, and is preparing to play host to rounds six and seven of the current campaign – the first in the championship’s pioneering new electric era.

With cars that generate 500kW (equivalent to 680bhp) and 880Nm of instant torque at the touch of a pedal – capable of propelling them to 100km/h faster even than Formula 1 – tackling iconic corners like Eau Rouge and Raidillon, the ingredients are firmly in-place for a weekend of absolutely electrifying entertainment.

Indeed, the action so far in 2022 has been nothing short of spectacular. Last year’s Spa winner Johan Kristoffersson leads the way as he hunts a fifth World Championship crown, but while the Swede’s record of four victories out of five this season might look daunting for the opposition, the statistics do not tell the full story.

At Montalegre last time out, it was Niclas Grönholm who ascended the highest step of the podium, as the flying Finn claimed Construction Equipment Dealer Team’s breakthrough World RX triumph in the Swedish outfit’s maiden campaign in the series. The son of two-time FIA World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm endured a tough start to the season, but both he and the team are rapidly finding their feet and their form.

The same can be said of Hansen brothers Timmy and Kevin. The 2019 title-holder came off worse in a clash with Kristoffersson on the second day in Portugal after taking the lead at the beginning of the final, while his younger brother had the audacity to overtake the four-time world champion not just once but twice during the course of a single race. Hansen World RX Team could – and arguably should – have won both rounds a fortnight earlier in Rīga too, so will be motivated indeed to open their victory account for the year in Belgium.

With four rostrum finishes from five starts since making his return to World RX, Ole Christian Veiby has been getting ever-closer to his illustrious Kristoffersson Motorsport team-mate, and with the potent Volkswagen RX1e underneath him, the Norwegian – now up to second in the standings – will undoubtedly be in the mix for silverware again this weekend.

Teenage rookie Gustav Bergström has similarly caught the eye with his raw speed – to say nothing of his lightning launches – and two final appearances to-date demonstrate that he is clearly benefitting from the tutelage of Kristoffersson and Veiby alongside him.

In much the same way, Grönholm’s CE Dealer Team stablemate Klara Andersson has been making waves of her own, advancing to the final on her series debut in Hell and racing to an historic podium finish at Montalegre. That result that will surely fire her up for a repeat performance at Spa, where she first joined the World Championship package 12 months ago, impressing with a strong run to fourth in RX2e.

Experienced rallycross campaigner René Münnich completes the field in his SEAT Ibiza RX1e. The German – who both runs and drives for the team that bears his name – is getting nearer to the outright pace with every appearance, and a Euro RX1 event win last year is testament to his ability.

HOME HEROES PRIMED TO SHINE IN SUPPORT SERIES

In the all-electric FIA RX2e Championship, Viktor Vranckx will be looking to reassert his supremacy on home soil at Spa. The 16-year-old from Lier has taken the series by storm in his rookie season, with two wins out of three so far and a sensational turn-of-speed. A third triumph of the campaign this weekend would surely enable him to put one hand on the coveted drivers’ crown.

The FIA European Rallycross Championship’s headlining Euro RX1 category will make its final appearance of 2022 at Benelux World RX of Spa-Francorchamps. Anton Marklund clinched his third European title at Montalegre, but the event was won by Enzo Ide – a maiden rallycross success for the 31-year-old from Tielt, who is increasingly demonstrating just how much he has learned from working closely with two of the sport’s ultimate maestros in Kristoffersson and 2016 world champion Mattias Ekström.

In a change to Spa’s rallycross circuit from last year, loose gravel has been added to the lower third of the long banked corner from Turn Five to Turn Six, in an effort to encourage more overtaking as drivers have to choose between protecting the inside line on a potentially slower surface, or sending it high around the outside.

All of the action both on and off-track will be broadcast live on RX+, providing access to every race live or on-demand on any device with premium production, hundreds of hours of fast-paced content and exclusive behind-the-scenes insights, plus interviews, in-depth expert analysis, drone shots, on-board cameras, highlights and much more.

RX+ event passes are available for €7,99, with the full season pass now on sale for the discounted rate of €29,99. More information can be found here, and race weekend tickets can still be purchased here.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM