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Rounds 6 and 7 of the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship take place this weekend (8-9 October), as the Benelux World RX of Spa-Francorchamps hosts a double-header round of the all-electric series.
And with the World RX cars generating 500kW (equivalent to 680bhp) and 880Nm of instant torque at the touch of a pedal, the track – which includes the iconic Eau Rouge and Raidillon corners, as well as a new loose surface section – will provide a spectacular setting for what promises to be another close and exciting rallycross encounter.
Last year’s Spa race winner Johan Kristoffersson leads the way as he hunts a fifth World Championship title, and while the Swede’s record of four victories out of five this season might look daunting to the opposition, the statistics do not tell the full story.
At Montalegre in Portugal last time out, it was Niclas Grönholm who claimed the Construction Equipment Dealer Team’s breakthrough World RX triumph. The son of two-time FIA World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm endured a tough start to the season, but both he and the team are rapidly finding their feet and their form.
The same can be said of Hansen brothers, Timmy and Kevin. The Hansen World RX Team could have won both rounds in Rīga in Latvia and were on the pace in Portugal too, so the squad will be keen to fulfil its potential in Belgium this time out.
With four rostrum finishes from five starts since making his return to World RX, Ole Christian Veiby has been getting ever-closer to his illustrious Kristoffersson Motorsport team-mate, and with the potent Volkswagen RX1e underneath him, the Norwegian – now up to second in the standings – will undoubtedly be in the mix for silverware again this weekend.
Teenage rookie Gustav Bergström has similarly caught the eye with his raw speed, to say nothing of his lightning launches, and two final appearances to date demonstrate that he is benefitting from the tutelage of Kristoffersson and Veiby alongside him.
In much the same way, Grönholm’s CE Dealer Team stablemate Klara Andersson has been making waves of her own, advancing to the final on her series debut in Hell in Norway and racing to a memorable podium finish at Montalegre. That result will fire her up for a repeat performance at Spa, where she first joined the World Rallycross Championship package 12 months ago, impressing with a strong run to fourth in RX2e.
Experienced rallycross campaigner René Münnich completes the field in his SEAT Ibiza RX1e. The German, who both runs and drives for the team that bears his name, is getting nearer to the outright pace with every appearance.
In the all-electric FIA RX2e Championship, Viktor Vranckx will be looking to reassert his supremacy on home soil at Spa. The 16-year-old from Lier has taken the series by storm in his rookie season, with two wins out of three so far and a sensational turn-of-speed. A third triumph of the campaign this weekend would surely enable him to put one hand on the coveted drivers’ crown.
The FIA European Rallycross Championship’s headlining Euro RX1 category will make its final appearance of 2022 at Spa-Francorchamps.
Anton Marklund clinched his third European title at Montalegre, but the event was won by Enzo Ide – a maiden rallycross success for the 31-year-old from Tielt, who is increasingly demonstrating just how much he has learned from working closely with two of the sport’s ultimate maestros in Kristoffersson and 2016 world champion Mattias Ekström.
All the race action will be broadcast live on RX+, together with exclusive behind-the-scenes insights, driver interviews, in-depth expert analysis, drone shots, onboard cameras, highlights and much more.
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