A trio of homegrown heroes are atmosphere the tempo within the FIA World Rallycross Championship after the opening spherical of the 2021 marketing campaign in Barcelona, and following their commanding podium lockout on Spanish soil, they are now aiming to lend a hand that momentum in entrance of the alive to Swedish fans in spherical two at Höljes next weekend (20-22 August).
One in every of the area’s most iconic rallycross tracks, Höljes is nestled deep within the Värmland woodland no longer far from the Norwegian border and has been a favored World Championship fixture ever since the sequence’ inception in 2014.
Kevin Hansen leads the subject into Swecon World RX of Sweden, having overcome elder brother Timmy and Johan Kristoffersson within the the leisure on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya remaining month for a second profession success at elite level.
The Hansen World RX Personnel driver is a loads of winner at Höljes at European level and has been a podium-finisher within the World Championship occasion held on the circuit in every of the previous two seasons, taking the chequered flag second on every times. He’ll be focusing on the absolute best step next weekend as he bids to prolong his lend a hand.
“I’m in actuality enraged for Höljes, and having the fans help trackside shall be unbelievable – we skipped over them so out of the ordinary remaining year and we’re enormous pumped to position on a factual show cloak for all of them,” mentioned the 23-year-previous.
“Our vogue over the winter used to be focussed extra on tracks admire Höljes quite than Barcelona, so we are hopeful of having made a accurate enhance from remaining year’s occasion. All people is aware of we win a factual automobile, and we win a factual feeling upright now. The competition goes to be no longer easy and it’s going to be the conventional suspects on the entrance so it is going to all come down to getting a factual originate to the weekend and then declaring that include.”
The championship chief isn’t very any longer going to win it straightforward, nevertheless. For starters, his two closest pursuers are every world champions – Timmy Hansen in 2019 and Kristoffersson in 2017, 2018 and 2020. The extinct is factual two sides adrift of his younger sibling, and having no longer reached the rostrum at Höljes since 2016, shall be significantly fired-up to flip the tables and expend the initiative within the slither for the coveted crown.
Kristoffersson, in opposition to this, is aware of factual what it takes to triumph all during the cruel 1,210m Höljesbanan circuit, having done so in every of his title-a success years. After a Q1 disqualification left him taking half in bewitch-up in Catalunya, the KYB EKS JC ace shall be determined to rating his first victory within the team’s potent Audi S1.
In completely his second corpulent marketing campaign within the World Championship, Krisztían Szabó occupies fourth spot within the Drivers’ standings for GRX-SET World RX Personnel following a accurate season-opener, and the Hungarian used to be a podium-finisher at Höljes on his capacity to the Colossal1600 (now Euro RX3) laurels in 2017.
Personnel-mate Niclas Grönholm, within the meantime, wishes a factual end result after his Spanish payment ended on the semi-remaining stage when he came off worst in a foremost corner collision. The flying Finn will win to were within the World RX title hunt in 2019 factual for an early-season bout of appendicitis to dwelling off him to neglect two events and flee his prospects, so his raw bolt is undoubtedly no longer doubtful.
Countryman Juha Rytkönen shall be bidding to copy the scene-stealing efficiency he produced on his gorgeous World RX debut at Kouvola remaining summer season, when he took the fight to Kristoffersson within the the leisure, while extinct rally fundamental individual Kevin Abbring displayed flashes of proper include in Barcelona on the help of the wheel of Unkorrupted’s placing Renault Mégane.
The FIA RX2e Championship – the principal-ever FIA electric rallycross championship – is equally Höljes-sure for the second time out of its inaugural marketing campaign.
RX2e’s debut all during the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya electrified the international rallycross landscape, with extinct World Championship fundamental individual Guillaume De Ridder claiming a commanding tremendous sweep as he raced to the tip step of the rostrum. The Belgian used to be pushed onerous by fellow ex-RX2 Series entrance-runners Jesse Kallio and Fraser McConnell, but a foremost corner clash within the the leisure supposed the eagerly-anticipated three-capacity showdown sadly below no conditions materialised.
Four weeks on, the Finn and Jamaican win their likelihood to redress the balance, but they are going to be far from the completely threats to De Ridder’s early dominance. British child Patrick O’Donovan shall be desirous to breed his podium-finishing include from the season-opener, while Spaniard Pablo Suárez narrowly skipped over out on a high three end result in entrance of his house fans.
A 24-automobile grid will assemble at Höljes for the curtain-raiser within the FIA European Rallycross Championship’s headlining Euro RX1 sequence – and a finish contest is in prospect, as a cluster of Scandinavian experts clutch on France’s finest.
Arguably the absolute best-profile entrant is extinct Euro RX champion and customary World RX entrance-runner Anton Marklund in a Volkswagen Polo, the Swede having obtained at Höljes in 2017 on his capacity to clinching the Supercar (now RX1) crown.
Two-time occasion-winner Thomas Bryntesson rejoins the fray in a identical automobile, Sivert Svardal will enter the weekend with a spring in his step having recently obtained the Norwegian Rallycross Championship and 1999 European champion Per Eklund returns to circulation on the age of 75 in his beloved VW Beetle. The Swede – an indeniable legend of the game – is clearly looking ahead to measuring himself in opposition to the cream of rallycross’ unusual prick.
“I’ve spent a host of time at Höljes one day of my profession,” Eklund mentioned. “I helped to attain the circuit nearly 50 years within the past and then obtained the principal rallycross occasion to be held here, so it’s somewhere that holds a host of very fond reminiscences for me and I feel a proper reference to the put. It would no longer be my closest circuit, nevertheless it’s admire a second house – for me, quite simply, Höljes is rallycross.
“It’s this just slight tune within the route of nowhere that below no conditions fails to attain thrilling, high wonderful circulation. It used to be a odd ride racing in entrance of empty grass banks remaining summer season, due to the fans are this form of apt segment of your full Höljes appeal – their enthusiasm creates that unmistakeable atmosphere that makes it all so particular, and it’s righteous to win them help again this year.”
The French contingent shall be spearheaded by a pair of brothers – Jean-Baptiste (JB) and Andréa Dubourg, and Fabien and Jonathan Pailler, who between them boast 16 rostrum appearances in European competition.
The fresh Euro RX3 marketing campaign is already shaping up to be a mouthwatering duel for honours between remaining year’s absolute best-scorer and this season’s standout rookie. In Barcelona, Yury Belevskiy picked up from where he had left off seven months earlier, registering maximum sides from the weekend to salvage his title define off to the very best originate, but he used to be pushed onerous by spectacular newcomer Kobe Pauwels in another Volland Racing Audi A1, because the Belgian excelled on his international debut in high-flight rallycross.
Belevskiy is terribly out of the ordinary the benchmark in Euro RX3 in 2021, but any fears that he would bolt away with the championship were quashed in Spain, as a replace of opponents attach the Russian below serious power.
Teenage prodigy Pauwels chanced on himself out-of-ultimate fortune within the the leisure after a foremost corner designate sent him sideways and dropped him to the tail of the subject, but he – along with fellow Audi aces Timur Shigabutdinov, Zsolt Szíjj ‘Jolly’, Marat Knyazev and Damian Litwinowicz – proved that Belevskiy isn’t very any longer going to win issues all his delight in capacity.
Škoda fundamental individual Jan Černý used to be one in every of the few drivers to in actuality threaten the all-conquering Audis until mechanical issues struck on the semi-remaining stage when he used to be on-path to attain the the leisure, while Janno Ligur – a podium-finisher at Höljes in 2017 – rejoins the grid in a identical automobile following a year’s absence.
Occasion entry lists could well be chanced on beneath: