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

Fri 16 Jun 2023

Levelling the playing field

The FIA RX2e Championship makes its seasonal debut in Hell this weekend (17-18 June), and while there are a number of intriguing plot lines heading into the series’ third campaign on the FIA World Rallycross Championship undercard, there is one in particular that has truly got people talking in recent days...

The FIA RX2e Championship makes its seasonal debut in Hell this weekend (17-18 June), and while there are a number of intriguing plot lines heading into the series’ third campaign on the FIA World Rallycross Championship undercard, there is one in particular that has truly got people talking in recent days...

The 2023 line-up is arguably the strongest to-date, with last year’s top three overall finishers – Viktor Vranckx, Isak Sjökvist and Nils Andersson – set to resume battle for glory as they all return for a full-season assault. Home hero Ole Henry Steinsholt – whose only previous RX2e outing yielded a second-place finish in Catalunya in 2021 – is also in for the duration, and hoping that fan support will help to spur him on to victory in Norway.

Not only that, but two World RX heavy-hitters – Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS and Hansen World RX Team – have entered ‘junior’ outfits in the championship, in the shape of Team E and #YellowSquad.

All excellent news, and testament to RX2e’s growing stature within the sport – but there is a bigger story still this weekend, as Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Cristina Gutiérrez, Catie Munnings and Laia Sanz join the fray, meaning an unprecedented 40 per cent of the ten-car field is composed of fast female racers.

All four are event-winners in Extreme E – with Gutiérrez the reigning champion after lifting the laurels last season alongside Sébastien Loeb, who will similarly take to the track in Norway at the helm of Special ONE Racing’s head-turning Lancia Delta Evo-e RX.

The Spaniard and countrywoman Sanz have both conquered the gruelling Dakar Rally, while Åhlin-Kottulinsky finished runner-up in the TCR Scandinavia Touring Car Championship in 2021 and Munnings became the first British driver to clinch a European Rally Championship crown in almost half-a-century in 2016, so it’s fair to say that their reputations precede them.

With their primary goal being to gain experience in rallycross and adapt to the nuances of the dual-surface discipline, expectations are modest – but factoring in their skill behind the wheel and all they have achieved so far, success could well be swift...