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Tue 14 Nov 2023

Hong Kong ‘a great starting-point for what is to come’

World RX’s Hong Kong debut has been hailed an overwhelming success by Rallycross Promoter Managing Director Arne Dirks, who described the milestone event as ‘a great starting-point for what is to come’.

Last weekend’s inaugural World RX of Hong Kong, China (11-12 November) has been hailed an overwhelming success by Rallycross Promoter Managing Director Arne Dirks, who described the landmark event as ‘a great starting-point for what is to come’.


The 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship season finale was the culmination of more than a year’s preparation and behind-the-scenes effort. With the event representing a brand new concept for World RX – as the first city-centre circuit in the series’ history – obstacles had to be overcome and challenges tackled head-on, with unforeseen construction delays necessitating a shortening of the track from 1,225 metres to 801 metres.


It might have been a compromise, but the revised layout generated some superb entertainment, with six different drivers reaching the rostrum across the two days of competition – combined with countless breathtaking battles and audacious overtakes.


No fewer than 17,000 fans poured through the gates of the Central Harbourfront circuit to witness the spectacular show, accompanied by more than 230 national and international media, as World RX announced its arrival in the Asia-Pacific region in sensational style.


“I’m completely overwhelmed,” acknowledged Dirks. “You need ultra-determined organisers and great partners to turn something like this into a reality, and it was amazing to see the venue and track take shape right in front of our eyes. I have to say, the setting against the backdrop of Hong Kong’s famous skyline was just epic.


“When you organise any event for the first time, there are inevitably unanticipated challenges – you cannot expect that everything will be absolutely perfect, and there are always aspects you can improve – but the racing was amazing and I think the reaction of the fans on-site said it all.


“It was fantastic to attract such a great crowd – I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a podium like that before in World RX – and wonderful to see so many families and children enjoying the event and the atmosphere. Rallycross has the perfect recipe to appeal to the younger generation with its short, sharp races and non-stop action, and I think our drivers have earned themselves a whole new legion of fans in the Asia-Pacific region.


“We believe rallycross is the most thrilling form of motorsport around, and we are passionate about travelling to new territories and bringing the excitement of World RX to new audiences. We’re absolutely thrilled with the way the weekend went, and we would love to come back to Hong Kong next year.


“More than just a new event, though, this is a whole new concept for World RX – racing right in the heart of downtown – and it is certainly something we would like to build upon moving forward. It’s our clear vision to have a blend of classic rallycross tracks and new circuits in city centres or alongside festivals, for example. This has been a great starting-point for what is to come...”