If there was a prize for the unluckiest driver in the FIA World Rallycross Championship this year, Timo Scheider would surely be a leading candidate – but after confirming his addition to the Benelux World RX of Spa-Francorchamps entry list today, the German has promised to put ‘all his energy’ into converting his undisputed pace into a podium finish.
Prior to his victory in Riga last time out, it would have been fair to call Johan Kristoffersson the unluckiest driver in 2021, but the Swede’s Latvian success means Scheider now picks up the mantle – although he is hoping to quickly shake it off again.
Here’s a little look at his season so far. Fast and feisty throughout the qualifying stages in the Catalunya curtain-raiser, the 42-year-old secured third in the intermediate standings in Spain, only to be squeezed into the barriers on the opening lap of his semi-final.
After sitting out Höljes due to a clashing commitment, a power steering issue in the final at Lohéac restricted him to sixth place in France, before Scheider truly rose to the challenge in Riga as 2016 World Rallycross Champion – and his own former DTM team-mate – Mattias Ekström joined him at ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport.
On the first day of the event in the Latvian capital, the Lahnstein native was running second in the final when his SEAT Ibiza stuttered to a standstill just before the entry to the joker lap. Twenty-four hours later, he backed up a brace of top three qualifying times by pushing championship leader Timmy Hansen right the way to the chequered flag in his semi-final – posting the fastest lap in the process – only for Lady Luck to then abandon him once again.
As the cars lined up on the grid for the final, propshaft failure ruled Scheider out of the race – but he will return to a happy hunting ground next weekend (9-10 October), and the two-time Spa 24 Hours winner is hopeful of another champagne celebration at the iconic Ardennes circuit.
“It’s going to be a special weekend,” he acknowledged. “Given the event clashes with another one for ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport, I’m super stoked that we can somehow manage to race at Spa. We’ll be really tight on people – maybe I’ll have to change tyres and clean the car myself, haha – but René [Münnich – team owner] really wants to see me drive there and I’m very happy to be back again as our target was always to race as much as possible this season.
“I’m really looking forward to it because Spa is a cool track with a great history and I’ve already won a couple of the 24-hour races there. I like the place and it’s not too far away from the town where I grew up, so it feels a bit like home.
“Riga was massively frustrating. There’s no doubt that we should have finished on the podium there, because our pace was good again and the ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport guys worked their absolute backsides off. They did an incredible job to give us such a quick car and we are getting closer to the front-runners every time.
“We will go to Spa ready to fight, and I’ll put all my energy into performing as well as we have in the last few events. The boys really deserve a trophy, and that’s what I’m aiming for.”
Racing is set to get underway at 12:15 CET on Saturday, 9 October. Entry tickets are still available to purchase here, or if you can’t make it in person, all of the action across the board will be livestreamed in glorious HD quality via the cutting-edge RX+ broadcast platform. This premium production grants subscribers unparalleled and unprecedented access anytime, anywhere and on any device, offering a choice of viewing angles, in-depth expert analysis, special behind-the-scenes features and exclusive interviews.
The Full Season Pass is on offer for the special price of €19,99, representing a 60% discount on the regular price of €49,99 and guaranteeing access until the end of the year. The Event Pass for Benelux World RX of Spa-Francorchamps is available for €7,99. For more information or to subscribe, click here