Tue 11 Jul 2023

Vitols returns to RX2e with ‘unfinished business’

Roberts Vitols – who starred on his RX2e debut in Rīga last year – will return to the World RX feeder series for the forthcoming round at Lydden Hill.

Roberts Vitols – who starred on his FIA RX2e Championship debut in Rīga last year – will return to the FIA World Rallycross Championship feeder series for the forthcoming round at Lydden Hill in the UK (22-23 July).

A national champion in Mini Buggies and karting, Vitols also triumphed on the Baltic scene during the formative stages of his career and was crowned rallycross’ youngest-ever FIA North European Zone (NEZ) champion, lifting the laurels in the Super1600 class at the age of just 14.

The Latvian has significant experience of racing on British shores, too. In 2019 – the same year that he became Latvian Rallycross Champion – Vitols entered the Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship, placing third overall courtesy of three victories from nine starts.

Remaining in the series in 2020, he raced to 5 Nations British Rallycross Super1600 glory in his sophomore season before stepping up again to the headlining Supercar category in 2021, prevailing three times in seven rounds – including at Lydden Hill – and reaching the rostrum on all bar one occasion to wind up third overall.

“I spent three years of my racing career in the UK and I’m looking forward to seeing all the loyal fans and familiar faces again,” the 20-year-old enthused. “Lydden Hill is the home of rallycross, and with World RX returning there after a six-year break, it’s going to be an exciting weekend for drivers and fans worldwide.

I know the track and have taken multiple wins there in the British Rallycross Championship, and I have full confidence in myself and the team around me. I have been working hard on my personal performance as an athlete and have given everything from my side to be prepared.”

Vitols similarly has prior experience of competing in RX2e, having made a one-off appearance in the all-electric single-spec series on home soil last September, vying for a podium finish in the final until mechanical issues scuppered his charge less than half-a-lap from the chequered flag. Now, he is back for revenge...

“I was able to set fastest lap times and show great pace all weekend in Latvia,” the Rīga native recollected. “I was leading the final and managed to secure the necessary margin over second place to joker and win the race, but unfortunately, the car then went into safety mode – so a feeling of unfinished business has been with me since then.

“I like RX2e because everyone has the same equipment, although there is still a lot of room to play with settings and extra performance to be found. I will not have that much time next weekend to get to know the car to the smallest detail, but I have proved that I am one of the leading young drivers in rallycross and that I can jump into any car and deliver results instantly – and that is the plan again for Lydden Hill.”

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