Sat 17 Jun 2023

World RX of Norway: Top five reasons to tune in

The FIA World Rallycross Championship heads to Hell this weekend for the second round of its 2023 campaign, supported by the FIA RX2e Championship curtain-raiser and the continuation of the Euro RX1 and Euro RX3 campaigns. Here are some of the major stories to follow...

Marking a Milestone

World RX reaches 100 rounds in Hell – 100 rounds of foot-to-the-floor, doorhandle-to-doorhandle, edge-of-the-seat action between some of the fastest and most fearless drivers around.

The series’ current generation of all-electric cars are also the quickest yet, and on the basis of the Montalegre curtain-raiser earlier this month – and with the likes of Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen and Sébastien Loeb in the field – fans look set to be treated to another weekend of electrifying competition...

Remembering the first time...

Four years ago to the day, Niclas Grönholm achieved his maiden World RX victory in Norway, although the Finn did not take the chequered flag first, benefitting from a post-race disqualification for on-the-road winner Anton Marklund and a penalty for runner-up Kevin Hansen to jump two places from his original finishing position of third.

Earlier on, Grönholm had unleashed a scintillating turn-of-speed in challenging conditions to top the intermediate classification behind the wheel of his Hyundai i20 and dominate the opening semi-final, so while he required a slice of luck in the final, his raw pace was certainly not in doubt. Four years on, the CE Dealer Team star will be aiming to get the job done on the track.

Female Focus

The 2023 FIA RX2e Championship gets underway in Hell, with a high-calibre, ten-strong field preparing to do battle for honours around the popular and undulating Lånkebanen circuit. Alongside the established front-runners will be four fast female racers in the shape of Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Cristina Gutiérrez, Catie Munnings and Laia Sanz – and all of them are very capable of taking the fight to the series regulars.

None of the quartet need any real introduction, having each stood on top of the podium in Extreme E and variously made history on the Dakar Rally and in Scandinavian Touring Cars. Next on their checklist is rallycross success – and that could well come this weekend...

Third time lucky?

Anton Marklund has been out of luck so far this season. Of that there is no doubt. In Hungary, the SET Promotion star saw his hopes effectively extinguished by a first corner crash not of his making. In Portugal, he was left on the start-line in the final, and despite posting the race’s fastest lap by almost two tenths-of-a-second, the earlier time loss proved too great to overcome.

The Swede has not always enjoyed the best of fortunes in Hell either, so he enters this weekend on the hunt for redemption – and ready to convert his palpable raw pace into the top step of the podium to truly kick-start his title defence.

Home heroes poised to pounce in Euro RX3

In terms of wins, Damian Litwinowicz – the highest-placed returnee from 2022 – has had things all his own way in Euro RX3 so far this season, but the results sheets bely the most competitive start to a season in several years.

Amongst the Pole’s closest competitors have been Volland Racing team-mate Espen Isaksætre and Škoda stars Martin Kjær and Jens Hvaal, and all three would like nothing better than to turn the tables on the championship leader on their home turf. Make no mistake – the battle for title glory in Euro RX3 is only just getting started...

Watch all the action weekend-long on RX+. Monthly and annual subscriptions can be purchased here.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM