Wednesday | 26 Oct 2022

Crunch time in Catalunya as electric extravaganza awaits

The FIA World Rallycross Championship will make history this weekend (29-30 October) with the staging of the dual-surface discipline’s first-ever completely electric event – as four-time world champion Johan Kristoffersson eyes a little piece of history of his own.

The FIA World Rallycross Championship will make history this weekend (29-30 October) with the staging of the dual-surface discipline’s first-ever completely electric event – as four-time world champion Johan Kristoffersson eyes a little piece of history of his own.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been a staple of the World RX schedule since 2015 – indeed, only Höljes in Sweden and Rīga in Latvia have hosted more World Championship rounds – but this year’s double-header Catalan contest is set to be extra-special.

As the sport races full speed ahead towards an exhilarating electric future, World RX of Catalunya will mark its inaugural all-electric affair. The headlining World Championship will be joined by the feeder FIA RX2e Championship and the maiden edition of the pioneering e-Mobility Experience, the largest e-mobility fair in southern Europe – and on-track, the action promises to be as electrifying as it has been all season.

With a 41-point advantage over his nearest pursuer, Kristoffersson is aiming to clinch his fifth Drivers’ crown this weekend. Behind the wheel of his Volkswagen RX1e, the Kristoffersson Motorsport star has triumphed six times out of seven so far in 2022, and he knows what it takes to tame the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – although 15 months ago, he came off second-best there following a series of pulsating scraps with the Hansen brothers.

But for ill-fortune and some strategic mis-steps, Kevin and Timmy Hansen would have at least one win apiece to their name this year, too, and the Swedish siblings produced a superb team effort to keep countryman Kristoffersson behind in Catalunya last season.

Both drivers are embroiled in a fierce four-way fight for the runner-up spot in the overall standings with Ole Christian Veiby and Niclas Grönholm – a mere three points separating the quartet.

Although he was out of luck just over two weeks ago in Belgium, KMS ace Veiby has displayed a strong turn-of-speed on his rallycross return this year – and with four podium appearances to-date, the Norwegian has proved to be a perfect rear-gunner to team-mate Kristoffersson. Grönholm, for his part, won at Montalegre and reached the rostrum at Spa, as the new Construction Equipment Dealer Team increasingly establishes itself as a force to be reckoned with.

Two young rookies to have shown a great deal of promise, meanwhile, are Gustav Bergström and Klara Andersson. The Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS teenager stunned observers by placing inside the top three on both days in Belgium, while his CE Dealer Team counterpart similarly sprayed the champagne in Portugal, where she became the first female driver ever to finish on the podium in international rallycross’ top flight.

Completing the field, René Münnich might be the series’ elder statesman, but like a fine wine, the German is continuing to improve with age – and it was in Catalunya last season where the ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport driver / team owner advanced to the final for the first time...

VRANCKX ON THE VERGE, HEIDFELD AND CHECA ON THE GRID

If Kristoffersson could be crowned this weekend in World RX, then the winner of the supporting FIA RX2e Championship definitely will be crowned, with Viktor Vranckx also on the cusp of title glory heading into the final round of the campaign.

Although the teenage Belgian prodigy needs barely a handful of points to seal the deal, he will be fired-up to sign off the season with a win – particularly after seeing good friend and close rival Patrick O’Donovan ascend the top step of the podium in the last two events, hauling the British driver firmly into the mix to finish second in the standings.

To make the position his own, O’Donovan will need to overcome Swedish duo Isak Sjökvist and Nils Andersson, while two intriguing new names on the entry list this weekend are Nick Heidfeld and Carlos Checa, with the former Formula 1 and MotoGP stars preparing to make their rallycross debuts.

All of the action both on and off-track will be broadcast live on RX+, providing access to every race live or on-demand on any device with premium production, hundreds of hours of fast-paced content and exclusive behind-the-scenes insights, plus interviews, in-depth expert analysis, drone shots, on-board cameras, highlights and much more.

RX+ event passes are available for €7,99, with the full season pass now on sale for the discounted rate of €29,99. More information can be found here, and race weekend tickets can still be purchased here.