The FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy moves to the Latvian capital of Riga this weekend for another double-header for rounds five and six of the compacted championship with Johan Kristofferson atop the championship log on 111 points.
The hungry pack trying to chase him down is led by Mattias Ekstrom on 94 points followed by Niclas Gronholm on 76 and Timmy Hansen on 70.
Neste World Rallycross of Riga-Latvia takes place at the Bikernieki circuit 10 km east of Riga city centre and will be the fifth time the World Championship has taken place in Latvia.
Three different drivers have taken event victories, Johan Kristoffersson the championship leader having won rounds one and three. Kristoffersson, the FIA World Rallycross Champion in 2017 and 2018, has established a 17 point lead at the head of the championship, his closest rival being Swedish compatriot Mattias Ekstrom.
The World Champion in 2016, Ekstrom has returned to the championship this year with KYB Team JC and took victory in round two of the championship at Holjes in Sweden. His teammate, Robin Larsson, is currently sixth in the championship.
Finnish racer Niclas Gronholm won round four on home ground in Finland and holds third place in the championship. His teammate at GRX Taneco, Russian Timur Timerzyanov is tenth in the championship standings.
Current World Champion Timmy Hansen holds fourth place in the championship, younger brother and teammate Kevin Hansen fifth and the Swedish pair buoyed after a successful test ahead of the events in Riga.
ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport’s Timo Scheider has enjoyed his best ever results in the start to the season and is placed seventh after being in the final at three of the first four events. His teammate and compatriot in the German team, Rene Muennich has had a more difficult start to the year and is 16th after four rounds.
Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel racer, Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud made it to the final in rounds two and four and is eighth but here also the teammate has had a rough start to the year, a series of technical issues restricting Briton Liam Doran to 21st place.
GCK Bilstein racer Anton Marklund is currently placed ninth, the Swede ahead of the Unkorrupted pairing of Lithuanian Rokas Baciuska and Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit who are 15th and 17th respectively.
In Riga the 14 Permanent Competitors are joined by Latvian star Reinis Nitiss who will make his first appearance of the year driving a Skoda Fabia for ESmotorsport Eigesa WRX Team.
Finnish racer Jani Paasonen is back for more in Ferratum Team’s Ford Fiesta as is Hungarian Krisztian Szabo who raced in Sweden and holds 12th place in the series with GRX SET’s Hyundai i20.
The World RX track is constructed within the historic race circuit that threads its way through the forest at Bikernieki. Created for the 2016 World RX in Riga – the first time the championship visited Latvia – the rallycross track is 1 295 m in length and consists of 60% unsealed and 40% asphalt surfaces. It includes three jumps, two of them where the joker lap and standard lap run parallel to each other.