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Wed 29 Mar 2023

Volland Racing unveils 2023 Euro RX3 line-up

For the past seven years, Volland Racing has been unquestionably the team to beat in the FIA European Rallycross Championship’s Euro RX3 category – and with the reveal of its 2023 driver line-up today, team owner Rolf Volland is bullish about extending that dominant run to eight in a row.

For the past seven years, Volland Racing has been unquestionably the team to beat in the FIA European Rallycross Championship’s Euro RX3 category – and with the reveal of its 2023 driver line-up today, team owner Rolf Volland is bullish about extending that dominant run to eight in a row.

Volland-prepared Audi A1s secured five of the top six spots in the Euro RX3 standings last season, as Kobe Pauwels followed in the footsteps of predecessor Yury Belevskiy in winning four times out of five to charge to the coveted crown.

With the Belgian teenager having since moved on, Damian Litwinowicz – 2022 championship runner-up – becomes the highest-placed incumbent this year, and the Pole will continue to compete under the Volland Racing flag as he chases his breakthrough victory.

He will be partnered by Portugal’s João Ribeiro – twice a podium-finisher in his maiden campaign of Euro RX3 competition – and fellow returnee Nils Volland, who stunned by racing to the runner-up spoils behind Pauwels in only his second series outing in Norway last summer.

In an intriguing addition, meanwhile, Espen Isaksætre – who reached the rostrum three times in Euro RX3’s Super1600 predecessor and was a finalist on home soil in Hell in 2022, always with his small family-run team – has been awarded his big break as he trades his Peugeot 208 for Volland’s all-conquering Audi A1. While not running under the same umbrella, Zsolt ‘Jolly’ Szíjj’s similar car will also be serviced by the squad during the season.

“I think we have a mega line-up of strong and talented drivers for 2023,” enthused 13-time German Rallycross Champion Volland. “Damian is really fast and a very good racer. There are still areas for improvement such as consistency, but he is aware of that and is working hard.

“João did a great job last year for his first full season in the championship, competing on tracks that were mostly unknown to him and very different to what he is used to in Portugal. Now, he needs to draw upon the knowledge within the team to really step up to the next level as a driver.

“Nils is young and still lacking in experience, with time to develop. After finishing his education, we said, ‘let’s go and drive a little bit’ – without any real expectations. He listens well and learns and he really wants this. He showed some genuine flashes of speed last year – he even surprised me!

“Espen is new to the team, and he comes with a lot of untapped potential. He’s super-quick, but has never really had the opportunity to fully show what he’s capable of – so that’s what we intend to provide.

“Last year, Kobe was clearly the guy to beat – just like Yury before him – but this year I would say is looking much more open, with no obvious favourite at this stage. The season will be long and the competition will be tough. We will need to prepare well...”

The full entry list for the 2023 Euro RX campaign is due to be published on 6 April, ahead of the opening round at Nyirád’s ‘Red Cauldron’ in Hungary on 29-30 April.