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Tue 07 Nov 2023

High stakes in Hong Kong: Downtown debut for season finale

The 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship will conclude with its inaugural city centre event in Hong Kong this weekend, as a feast of electrifying entertainment awaits fans on the series’ maiden visit to the Asia-Pacific region.

The 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship will conclude with its inaugural city centre event in Hong Kong this weekend (11-12 November), as a feast of electrifying entertainment awaits fans on the series’ maiden visit to the Asia-Pacific region.


Set against the spectacular backdrop of Hong Kong’s famous skyline, in the Central Harbourfront Event Space next to the iconic Victoria Harbour, the all-new 1225-metre downtown circuit – composed of both gravel and asphalt surfaces – will be sure to challenge drivers with its blend of flat-out straights, flowing corners, tight-and-twisty sections, crowd-pleasing jump and dramatic joker merge just before the finish line.


All ten competitors will be aiming to be first past the chequered flag, but ultimately, only one can be crowned – with Johan Kristoffersson firmly in pole position for glory. The Swede – already five times a world champion in the discipline – has won four rounds to-date this season and holds a commanding 36-point advantage over his nearest pursuer, with only 46 remaining in play during the double-header contest.


Kristoffersson does not need to win in Hong Kong to take the title, but with 54 prior victories to his name at the pinnacle of the sport, he is not accustomed to settling for second place.


While it would require a significant slice of misfortune to deny the Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS star the laurels, in rallycross, nothing can ever be ruled out – particularly given the intense, no-holds-barred nature of the racing and the high calibre of competition.


Kristoffersson’s four closest rivals in the classification – Kevin Hansen, Timo Scheider, Niclas Grönholm and Timmy Hansen – have all previously ascended the top step of the podium in World RX, with ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport ace Scheider bringing the championship leader’s winning run to an end courtesy of a stellar performance in Cape Town last time out.


Timmy Hansen – world champion in 2019 – has been a thorn in Kristoffersson’s side for many years, while younger brother Kevin finally halted his countryman’s hitherto unbroken SuperPole streak in South Africa. All of them will be keen to complete the campaign with a champagne celebration.


Similarly capable of doing battle for silverware are fast females Klara Andersson and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky. The former made history last year as the first woman ever to reach the rostrum in top flight international rallycross and has continued to progress ever since. Compatriot Åhlin-Kottulinsky has been a leading contender in the supporting FIA RX2e Championship this season, finishing third overall and scooping the runner-up spoils behind guest entrant Kristoffersson in Belgium back in the summer.


It will be intriguing, meanwhile, to see how fellow debutant Patrick O’Donovan fares on his series bow with Hansen World RX Team. The highly-rated British teenager is a double national champion as well as an event-winner at both RX2e and Euro RX level – and like Åhlin-Kottulinsky, he has plenty of experience in the ZEROID X1 car that all drivers will pilot this weekend.


The competitive action will begin with the single-lap SuperPole shootout at 10:00 local time (03:00 CET) on Saturday, 11 November, with every session to be broadcast on the Rally.TV platform. Monthly and annual subscriptions can be purchased here, while tickets are available to buy here.


The full event timetable and entry list can be found here.