Thu 29 Jun 2023

Battle royale awaits Euro RX1 field at Höljes

A near-capacity Euro RX1 grid will assemble at Höljes for the forthcoming ‘Magic Weekend’, with a captivating contest in store...

A near-capacity, 24-strong Euro RX1 field will assemble at Höljes for the forthcoming ‘Magic Weekend’, with a captivating contest in store around the iconic Värmland circuit.

Despite seeing his quest for a second victory of the campaign quashed when he was collected as collateral damage in a first corner accident in Norway last time out, the ever-improving Enzo Ide – who triumphed in Portugal back at the beginning of the month – leads the way in the Euro RX1 title hunt, as the Belgian returns to the scene of his best World RX finish two years ago.

Just a single point behind Ide is defending champion Anton Marklund, who despite showcasing scintillating speed in every round so far this season, has yet to reach the top step of the podium in 2023. Last summer at Höljes, the Swede secured the second of three victories en route to the series’ crown, so he will be targeting a repeat result 12 months on.

Jānis Baumanis arrived in Hell at the summit of the standings, but left having slipped to third – albeit just four points shy of the top of the table. That was due to a penalty for contact at the semi-final stage that kept him out of the all-important final, leaving the Latvian fired-up to immediately bounce back in Sweden.

Reigning British Rallycross Champion Patrick O’Donovan has advanced to the final every time out in 2023, reaching the rostrum in the Hungarian curtain-raiser behind the wheel of his ex-Hansen Motorsport Peugeot 208. The rapid Team RX Racing ace is inching ever-closer to his breakthrough victory at Euro RX1 level – don’t be surprised to see it come this weekend.

Sivert Svardal heads to Höljes riding the crest of a wave off the back of an emotional maiden success on home soil in Hell, banishing the memories of a luckless start to the season, while experienced campaigners René Münnich and Tamás Kárai have both already added to their trophy collection this year and rather than slowing down with age, if anything seem to be getting faster.

Hungary’s Máté Benyó has been busy proving that his eye-catching series debut at Nyirád back in April was no flash in the pan by quickly getting up-to-speed on circuits that he has never previously visited. One driver who conversely knows Höljes like the back of his hand is local specialist Linus Östlund, who rejoins the fray in a Ford Fiesta.

The jokers in the pack, finally, are poised to spring a surprise, as JC Raceteknik enters a three-strong stable of Audi S1s for former European Champions Andreas Bakkerud and Robin Larsson and the inspirational Mats Öhman, all of whom can expect to receive a rapturous reception. What’s more, with no title battle to trouble them, the trio have promised to hold nothing back, raising the prospect of a vintage weekend of competition in the depths of the Värmland forests.

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