World Rallycross is gearing up for another double-header weekend, this in Spain where everyone will be hunting championship leader, Johan Kristofferson.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is the venue for rounds seven and eight of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy this weekend.
Saturday’s round seven is named to support the local bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics, Logitech G FIA World RX of Pirineus-Barcelona 2030 while round eight on Sunday is named Logitech G FIA World RX of Catalunya.
The season start was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and so far four championship rounds have been completed across two weekends; Sweden 22-23 August and Finland 29-30 August.
Three different drivers have taken event victories, Johan Kristoffersson the championship leader having won rounds one, three and five. 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 has won rounds two and six. His teammate, Robin Larsson, is currently fifth in the championship having made his first podium appearance by finishing third in round six.
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 ninth in the championship standings.
Current World Champion Timmy Hansen holds fourth place in the championship, younger brother and teammate Kevin Hansen sixth. The pair finished one-two in Barcelona last year and will be aiming for another ‘brodium’ this weekend.
ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport’s Timo Scheider has enjoyed his best ever results in the start to the season and is placed eighth and has been the final three times so far this year. This weekend Scheider will be partnered by Mandie August who replaces Rene Muennich and becomes only the second female racer to start a World RX event.
Monster Energy GCK RX Cartel racer, Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud moved up to seventh place in the championship after round six while teammate Liam Doran also made strides and is 13th after improved performances in rounds five and six.
GCK Bilstein racer Anton Marklund is currently placed tenth, the start of the year having been fraught with technical difficulties for the Swede.
Joining the Permanent Competitors in Barcelona, Hungarian racer Tamas Karai will returns having also compete in World RX in Finland. British racer Oliver Bennett makes his seasonal debut with his unique Mini, Frenchman Patrick Guillerme lines up with his Hyundai i20 and Belgian Enzo Ide is slated to make his first start of the year in an Audi S1.
Situated within turns 10 to 15 of the 4,6 km F1 track, the World RX track at Barcelona is 1 135 m long consists of 60% sealed surface and 40% unsealed sections. It uses parts of the F1 track in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. A significant change as a safety improvement since last year, the inside of rallycross turn three – the long right-hander in the first unsealed section – is now lined by a steel guard rail which replaces the tyre wall previously used.