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Fri 26 May 2023

Former champions Bakkerud and Larsson to contest Höljes’ ‘Magic Weekend’

A brace of former FIA European Rallycross Champions are preparing to rejoin the fray for Höljes’ legendary ‘Magic Weekend’ (1-2 July) this summer, with Andreas Bakkerud and Robin Larsson set to line up in the Euro RX1 field for JC Raceteknik.

A brace of former FIA European Rallycross Champions are preparing to rejoin the fray for Höljes’ legendary ‘Magic Weekend’ (1-2 July) this summer, with Andreas Bakkerud and Robin Larsson set to line up in the Euro RX1 field for JC Raceteknik.

Bakkerud – Euro RX1 Champion in 2021 and twice a title-winner in the supporting Super1600 (now Euro RX3) category – entered last month’s Nyirád curtain-raiser in an Audi S1 after sealing a last-minute deal to partner home hero Tamás Kárai in the event, thrilling fans with his trademark hard-charging style and advancing to the final in the high-calibre field. He will take to the track in a similar car in Sweden.

The 30-year-old Norwegian – who has stood atop the World RX podium on seven occasions and was the 2019 World Championship runner-up – has twice tasted victory at the ‘Magic Weekend’. He triumphed in Euro RX in 2013 and at the highest level in 2016, and is hoping to add a third winner’s trophy from Höljes to his growing collection this year in front of his legions of BakkerudBLUE fans.

“The ‘Magic Weekend’ is the biggest rallycross event of the season,” Bakkerud enthused. “It’s a festival from start to finish. Höljes is also my favourite rallycross track in the world, so if there’s an event I want to do, it’s this one!

“The win in 2013 is still high up there in my memories. I see that final on YouTube from time-to-time – it was filmed by an old hand-held camera, which makes it feel even older. My podium streak from 2012 to 2018 is also special. The Audi is a fast car and the target is the podium again – and if the opportunity is there, of course we’ll go for the win!”

Like his team-mate, Larsson – Euro RX Supercar (now Euro RX1) Champion in  both 2014 and 2019 – is renowned for his take-no-prisoners approach out on-track. The Swede – similarly a World RX event-winner – popularly triumphed at Höljes on the way to the second of his European titles, and is looking forward to his series return.

“It feels really good to be coming back to home soil, especially to Höljes,” he acknowledged. “It’s always a special feeling driving in Sweden, in front of friends, family and Swedish fans, and it will be fun to race the Audi in the European Championship. It will be hard to just jump in and get a result as the competition will be tough, but we will do a short test beforehand and will hopefully go there feeling good.

“It’s been a while since I drove at Höljes, but I’ve been there a few times and hopefully we can get quickly up-to-speed. I’ll go into the event without any pressure, but when you get to the start-line, you always want to win...”

“Höljes is rallycross,” added JC Raceteknik Team Principal, Joel Christoffersson. “Some of the best memories of my career in Europe are from Höljes, and to go back with Robin and Andreas – two of the very best rallycross drivers in the world – will be a lot of fun.

“The track is demanding; even if everybody knows it well, getting everything right is not easy and we will have to work hard to get to the front because although being in the fight for the final might not be so difficult, getting to the top step of the podium will be. That’s what we do, though – we work hard to win and we can’t wait to get to the ‘Magic Weekend’. Hopefully there will be a lot of fans there to cheer us on!”