After the spectacular beginning to the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship which saw Petter Solberg win the first event in Portugal, the series now moves to the Lydden Hill circuit in Kent for its second round and where the show can only get better.
And it already has...
Not only is this the second round of the World RX, its also the opening round of the European Rallycross Championship or Euro RX, which takes place over five European rounds alongside its World Championship cousin.
The effect of this?
There is a record entry of 37 drivers in the top level Supercars catergory alone...
37!!! Compare that to the 31 cars entered for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and you begin to realise the attraction that World RX and Euro RX has at an historic stage such as Lydden Hill which has held Rallycross events, both British and European since 1967 and its not surprising that its considered amongst the best in Rallycross circles and the birth place of Rallycross itself.
Because of the popularity of this years World Championship and the beginning of the European Championship, you can be sure that the "AUTOSPORT World RX of Great Britain" to give it the full title, will be a crowd sell out and there is no reason that they will be disappointed either.
Alongside the 37 Supercar entries, there are 10 Touring Car RX entries (These are 2 Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive, 2 litre Turbo powered cars) and 23 Super 1600 entries (These are 2 Wheel Drive, Front Wheel Drive, 1.6 Litre Normally Aspirated Cars). Either way, that is a bumper entry of cars that will be taking part in the various Practices, Heats, Semi-Finals and The Final of each catergory.
Hell, I've been excited about this since Solberg won in Portugal and the bumper Supercar entry has only heightened that excitement!!!
The Driver talent joining the World RX regulars is the best of the best, with some drivers making either one off appearences or on a limited programme of events. Tanner Foust makes his first appearance of the season at Lydden, but not in the all conquering Ford Fiesta. This year he is contesting a full season of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship in a VW Beetle Supercar for the famous Andretti Autosport team, so at Lydden he will be driving a Marklund Motorsport VW Polo as preperation.
2013 BTCC Champion and former Junior Rallycross Champion Andrew Jordan joins Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss in the Works Swedish Olsbergs OMSE Team driving a Ford Fiesta. Jordan hopes this could lead to more putings that dont clash with his BTCC Defense. His entry is also sponsored by Red Bull as he is now an official Red Bull athlete.
Andy Scott's Albatec Racing team mate Jacques Villeneuve is missing from the event as he contests the Indy 500, therefore his place in the Albatec Peugeot is taken by 2013 Euro RX Runner up Davy Jeanney. Jeanney proved a force in his Citroen C4 last year against the massed ranks of the Citroen DS3's and once adapted to the Peugeot, he should be fast again.
Also making an appearance at Lydden Hill is Petter Solberg's older brother Henning Solberg in a Per Eklund Motorsport Saab 9-3 alongside regular female World RX driver Romana Karlsson. Henning took part in several Euro RX events last year and proved that the Saab Supercar is no slouch compared to the newer breed of Supercars.
Meanwhile British Rallycross regulars Julian Godfrey and Mark Proctor have entered this round with Godfrey in his regular Ford Fiesta Supercar whilst Proctor moves from his Mk 2 Ford Focus Supercar to a Ford Fiesta as well. Norwegian Rallycross and Touring Car legend Tommy Rustad has entered his Volvo C30 which showed good pace last year as he bids for the Euro RX title.
So with 37 FIA World Rallycross Supercars entered, 22 of those drivers entered for the FIA European Rallycross title, the regular World RX drivers will be looking to build on their 1st Round Accounts...
Neither of the Hansen Peugeots of Timmy Hansen or Timur Timerzyanov made it into the Supercar Final and they will both be looking to up their game at Lydden Hill. At the same time, the Monster Energy World RX drivers of Liam Doran, Krzysztof Skorupski and Derek Tohill suffered a nightmare weekend in Portugal and will look to open their account at Lydden. Its well known that Doran is fast on home turf when the Monster DS3 is running faultlessly.
While Solberg won the event, his team mate Alexander Hvaal suffered issues with his DS3 on the start of each heat. He will be looking towards better luck as will Andy Scott in his Albatec Peugeot 208. He managed to make it to the 2nd Semi Final however the car wouldnt take the start. So both he and Jeanney will be looking for a good points haul.
Whilst theres quite a few drivers looking to score, the Ford Olsbergs OMSE team mates of Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss and the VW Marklund Motorsport drivers of Anton Marklund and Toomas Heikkinen will be looking to add to the points tally they built in Portugal as all four drivers fought for the Event win against Petter Solberg in the Final. This showing also confirmed that the Fords and VW's were fast out of the box and a match for the Works Peugeots, marking anyone of those four drivers as a potential Event winner.
So, as you can see, from the extremely high level of driver talent and competition entered for the 2nd round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, the man who makes it through to the Supercar Final and wins will be a very worthy winner indeed!
The "AUTOSPORT World RX of Great Britain" takes place on the weekend of 24th & 25th of May at Lydden Hill in Kent on the same weekend as the Monaco Grand Prix and the two FIA World Touring Car Championship races from the Salzburgring, so theres plenty of live TV coverage of motorsport to choose from that weekend.
Heres the Supercar Entry list...
1 Timur TIMERZYANOV -RUS- Team Peugeot-Hansen - SWE - Peugeot 208
2 Ollie O'DONOVAN - IRL - Ollie O'Donovan – IRL - Ford Focus
3 Timmy HANSEN – SWE - Team Peugeot-Hansen – SWE - Peugeot 208
4 Robin LARSSON - SWE - Rovin Larsson - SWE - Audi A1
6 Alexandre THEUIL - FRA - Alexandre Theuil - FRA - Citroën DS3
7 Emil ÖHMAN * - SWE - Emil Öhman - SWE - Citroën DS3
8 Peter HEDSTRÖM – SWE - Peter Hedström – SWE - Skoda Fabia
11 Petter SOLBERG - NOR - PS 110% AB – SWE - Citroën DS3
12 Alexander HVAAL - NOR - PS 110% AB - SWE - Citroën DS3
13 Andreas BAKKERUD - NOR - OlsbergsMSE AB SWE - Ford Fiesta ST
14 Frode HOLTE – NOR - Frode Holte Motorsport – NOR - Hyundai i20
15 Reinis NITISS – LVA - OlsbergsMSE AB - SWE - Ford Fiesta ST
17 Mats ÖHMAN * - SWE - Mats Öhman - SWE - Citroën DS3
19 Jean-Luc PAILLER * - FRA - Jean-Luc Pailler - FRA - Peugeot 208
20 Fabien PAILLER * - FRA - Fabien Pailler – FRA - Peugeot 208
22 Koen PAUWELS – BEL - Koen Pauwels – BEL - Ford Focus
21 Bohdan LUDWICZAK – POL - Bohdan Ludwiczak – POL - Ford Fiesta
24 Tommy RUSTAD * - NOR - HTB Racing - NOR - Volvo C30
26 Andy SCOTT – GBR - Albatec Racing LTD – GBR - Peugeot 208
27 Davy JEANNEY – FRA - Albatec Racing LTD – GBR - Peugeot 208
33 Liam DORAN – GBR - Monster Energy World RX – GBR - Citroën DS3
34 Tanner FOUST * - USA - Marklund Motorsport - SWE - VW Polo
37 Pavel KOUTNY – CZE - Czech National Team – CZE - Ford Fiesta
40 Eric FAREN - SWE - Eric Faren - SWE - Citroën DS3
44 Krzysztof SKORUPSKI - POL - Monster Energy World RX - GBR - Citroën DS3
47 Ramona KARLSSON * - SWE - Per Eklund Motorsport - SWE - Saab 9-3
48 Lukas WALFRIDSON - SWE - Helmia Motorsport AB - SWE - Renault Clio
50 Kevin PROCTER - GBR - Kevin Procter - GBR - Ford Fiesta
51 Julian GODFREY * - GBR - Julian Godfrey – GBR - Ford Fiesta
54 Jos JANSEN – BEL - Jos Jansen – BEL - Ford Focus
57 Toomas HEIKKINEN – FIN – Marklund Motorsport - SWE - VW Polo
66 Derek TOHILL – IRL - LD Motorsports – GBR - Citroën DS3
69 Jochen COOX - BEL OTRT – BEL - VW Scirocco
74 Jérôme GROSSET-JANIN - FRA - Jérôme Grosset-Janin - FRA Renault Clio
77 Andrew JORDAN * - GBR - Olsbergs MSE AB – SWE - Ford Fiesta
88 Henning SOLBERG – NOR - Per Eklund Motorsport - SWE Saab 9-3
92 Anton MARKLUND – SWE - Marklund Motorsport – SWE - VW Polo
99 Tord LINNERUD * - NOR - Helmia Motorsport AB - SWE - Renault Clio