Mon 17 Jul 2023

Rallycross’ future stars Britain-bound for round three

The 2023 FIA RX2e Championship reaches its midway stage at Lydden Hill, with an intriguing title tussle that looks set to intensify on British shores...

The 2023 FIA RX2e Championship reaches its midway stage at Lydden Hill this weekend (22-23 July), with an intriguing title tussle that looks set to intensify on British shores.

Now in its third season, the single-spec, all-electric series showcases the skills of rallycross’ stars of the future by pitting drivers against one another in identical machinery, with the cars producing 270kW (equivalent to 362bhp) and up to 510Nm torque – propelling them from 0-100km/h in a mere 3.5 seconds.

Isak Sjökvist is the pace-setter heading to Lydden, as the Swede – who competes for Hansen Motorsport junior outfit #YellowSquad – holds a five-point advantage over countryman Nils Andersson at the summit of the standings.

Sjökvist won the curtain-raiser in Hell in Norway, and Andersson – a protégé of multiple world champion Johan Kristoffersson – looked set to win round two at Höljes in Sweden until a last lap clash denied him a breakthrough victory, leaving him fired-up to immediately bounce back in Britain.

The 23-year-old’s stablemate at Kristoffersson Motorsport junior squad Team E, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, reached the rostrum on her RX2e bow earlier this year and has prior experience of Lydden Hill, so is likely to be a major protagonist once again.

Åhlin-Kottulinsky is not the only female driver contesting RX2e this weekend, as Britain’s own Catie Munnings makes her fourth appearance in the series, having gone from strength-to-strength in every outing to-date alongside Sjökvist at #YellowSquad.

“I’m excited to enter my home round,” Munnings enthused. “It’s a big one for me to compete at and hopefully we can have a really great weekend. Rallycross is still really new to me, but I’m enjoying every moment and the progress we’re making is great.”

One driver who will be determined to open his victory account for the year is defending champion Viktor Vranckx, who is yet to triumph in 2023 but still firmly in touch in the title hunt. The Belgian teenage prodigy – the youngest competitor on the grid – is a former podium-finisher at Lydden in a different series, and a first win of the season is now beginning to look overdue.

Ole Henry Steinsholt is riding the crest of a wave off the back of his maiden triumph last time out at Höljes, while there are two dark horses on the entry list in the shape of intriguing new additions Roberts Vitols and Tommi Hallman.

Vitols is back with ‘unfinished business’ on his mind after coming within a whisker of winning on his RX2e debut on home soil last summer, and the Latvian spent three years racing in the UK from 2019 to 2021 – with considerable success. ‘Flying Finn’ Hallman, meanwhile, has been tearing up the record books in both Europe and the United States in recent years, and his next target is the top step of the rostrum at the birthplace of the sport.

With such a talented and evenly-matched field, the battle for glory at Lydden looks too close to call...

The full event entry list can be found below.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM