Wednesday | 22 Dec 2021

Top 10 Drivers of the Year: Andreas Bakkerud (1st)

So we’ve reached the end of our Top 10 Drivers of the Year countdown across the FIA World Rallycross Championship, FIA RX2e Championship and FIA European Rallycross Championships (Euro RX1 and Euro RX3), as voted for by you, and there’s only one driver left to reveal – your Numero Uno for 2021...Andreas Bakkerud.

Andreas Bakkerud wasn’t even on the FIA European Rallycross Championship entry list five days before the Höljes Euro RX1 curtain-raiser, but an 11th-hour agreement with ESmotorsport saved his season. Just seven weeks later, he was toasting title success for the third time in his career.

A podium finish straight off the bat in Sweden hinted at the potential of the Bakkerud/ES combo, as the multiple World RX event-winner instantly gelled with the Lithuanian outfit’s Škoda Fabia, but an engine issue cost him a surefire victory in France and then a first corner clash with Peter Hedström in Latvia ruled him out of the final for the first time in 2021.

Heading to Belgium’s legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit for the championship showdown, four drivers remained in the mix for honours, but realistically, it was between Bakkerud and Fabien Pailler – and so it would transpire. Entering the final, only a single point separated the pair, and an inch-perfect performance from the Norwegian proved sufficient to clinch the coveted crown.

It was arguably the most popular result of the year, and – coming on Bakkerud’s 30th birthday – the stuff that fairy tales are made of...