Sat 11 Nov 2023

World RX of Hong Kong, China: Top Five Reasons to Tune In

The 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship reaches its conclusion in Hong Kong this weekend. Here are five reasons why it’s going to be epic...

The 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship reaches its conclusion in Hong Kong this weekend (11-12 November), with fans primed for a thrilling double-header on the first downtown circuit in the series’ history. All of the action will be broadcast on Rally.TV from 15:00 local time (07:00 CET) today – here are five reasons why it’s going to be epic...

City centre thrills

For the first time in World RX, the fastest rallycross drivers on the planet will do battle in the heart of downtown – and not just any downtown, but in Hong Kong’s Central Harbourfront district, surrounded by the city’s iconic skyscrapers on one side and the glistening waters of Victoria Harbour on the other.

It is a spectacular setting for what is sure to be a sensational season finale, with ten drivers all gunning for glory and the honour of being World RX’s ultimate ‘street fighter’.

Coronation street

On the streets of Hong Kong, a world champion will be crowned – and by dint of his earlier results this season, Johan Kristoffersson has installed himself firmly in pole position to lift the laurels for an extraordinary sixth time in his glittering career at the international pinnacle of the sport.

The Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS star heads into the event holding a commanding 36-point advantage over nearest pursuer Kevin Hansen at the summit of the standings – with only 46 remaining up for grabs. But with all drivers taking a trip into the unknown, could there be a late upset in store?

Rookies ready to shine

The field features a couple of newcomers this weekend, although neither is any stranger to the wider World RX package. Indeed, both Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS) and Patrick O’Donovan (Hansen World RX Team) have extensive knowledge of the ZEROID X1 that all competitors are driving – the former finished third in the FIA RX2e Championship this year, and the latter won two rounds in the single-spec support series in 2022.

With no pressure on either of their shoulders, the pair will be keen to put in a strong performance in Hong Kong as they endeavour to show what they can do against the discipline’s crème de la crème.

Scintillating scrap for second

If only a disaster can seemingly stop Kristoffersson’s inexorable march towards a sixth career crown, then the scrap for second in the standings is far less clear-cut – with four drivers blanketed by just 12 points in the title table.

Kevin Hansen, Timo Scheider, Niclas Grönholm and Timmy Hansen have all visited the podium this season and are more than capable of doing so again – indeed, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport star Scheider, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, became the latest World RX winner last time out in Cape Town. And to add further intrigue into the mix, the driver just five points further back in sixth place – Ole Christian Veiby – was fastest in qualifying practice in Hong Kong. Let battle commence!

Walls that bite

Prior to even setting foot on the track, drivers were under absolutely no illusions that the Central Harbourfront circuit has the potential to bite – and bite hard. That much was confirmed in practice, when a number of them had a brush with the walls. All three got away with it on this occasion – but they may not be so lucky when the racing action gets underway.

With much at stake this weekend, the pressure is on – and competitors will need to strike the right balance between pushing hard enough to go fast, but not pushing so hard that they fall foul of the unforgiving walls and pay a hefty price...

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