Thursday | 09 Jun 2022

Guess who’s Bakk, Bakk again... Reigning champ returns to Euro RX1 for Höljes and Hell

Reigning FIA European Rallycross Euro RX1 Champion Andreas Bakkerud will return to the fray for the next two rounds of the 2022 campaign, as he aims to take care of ‘unfinished business’ in the car that he piloted to within an ace of the 2019 World Championship crown.

Reigning FIA European Rallycross Euro RX1 Champion Andreas Bakkerud will return to the fray for the next two rounds of the 2022 campaign, as he aims to take care of ‘unfinished business’ in the car that he piloted to within an ace of the 2019 World Championship crown.

Bakkerud sped to his third Euro RX title last year, to add to his brace of Super1600 (now Euro RX3) triumphs in 2011 and 2012. Over the intervening seasons, the Norwegian tallied no fewer than seven World RX event wins – while earning himself a cult following in the sport for his spectacular on-track style, outgoing nature and engaging personality.

His most successful campaign to-date came three years ago, when – behind the wheel of an Audi S1 – he tied for the World RX drivers’ trophy with Timmy Hansen in a dead-heat finale in South Africa, pipped to glory on countback.

Bakkerud will be reunited with the same car at Höljes (2-3 July) and Hell (13-14 August), while similarly rejoining forces with EKS, the team with which he secured six podium finishes in World Championship competition in 2018.

The 30-year-old’s entry in both events has been made possible by the continued backing of his loyal sponsors and in particular Ramudden – title partner to World RX of Norway – with whom he has forged a new relationship.

Bakkerud boasts an excellent previous record at Höljes and Hell, having prevailed at both tracks in World RX. Indeed, from 2014 to 2018, he was never off the podium at the iconic Swedish circuit, which was also the scene of his breakthrough Supercar success in Euro RX in 2013 – which he celebrated in characteristic style by throwing his race gloves and boots to the appreciative crowd.

His home track of Hell, meanwhile, makes a welcome return to the schedule this season following a three-year Covid-enforced absence.

“I said it last year and I’ll say it again – to stay away from Höljes would just have been unthinkable,” reflected the Bergen native. “I stood in for my friend Hal Ridge recently to commentate on RallyX Nordic there, and while that was a blast, it was so difficult to watch the other guys having fun out on-track without me!

“I knew I simply had to find a way to compete at the ‘Magic Weekend’, and thanks to Ramudden, HTB Racing, #BakkerudBLUE partners and EKS, we’ve made it happen. I particularly need to thank my old team-mate Mattias Ekström (EKS Team Owner and 2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion), who personally put a lot of effort into pulling this all together.

“Similarly, I can’t wait to be back racing in Hell – it’s an awesome circuit that has been missing from the calendar for far too long. I’m really excited to see all the fans again after the difficult past few years kept them away, and I’m looking forward to repaying them for their support with some incredible action!

“I’ve always been very clear that when I enter a series or an event, I want to do it properly and with EKS and the Audi S1, everything about this immediately felt right – the calibre of both the team and car is first-class. I raced the Audi in 2018 and 2019, and then some Swedish dude won the World Championship with it last year, so it’s clearly still a pretty potent package.

“I’ve also got a bit of unfinished business in the S1, as I never managed to win with it at Höljes or Hell, so hopefully this is our chance to put that right...”