When driv­ers take on the ral­ly­cross chal­lenge

Motor Sport News - - World Rallycross News - ROUND-UP

Three FIA World cham­pi­ons have com­peted in the FIA World Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship since its in­cep­tion in 2014. Se­bastien Loeb will be the fourth.

While Pet­ter Sol­berg (2003 WRC win­ner and 2014-15 World Ral­ly­cross cham­pion) has won both World RX ti­tles that have been held to date, Jac­ques Villeneuve (1997 F1) was less suc­cess­ful in his 2014 cam­paign. The Cana­dian strug­gled to adapt to the mixed-sur­face dis­ci­pline, missed events due to clash­ing com­mit­ments and pulled out prior to the fi­nal round.

Yvan Muller (WTCC 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013) made his World RX de­but in France last year but failed to make the semi-fi­nals af­ter be­ing pushed off in a heat race.

World cham­pi­ons aside, dou­ble DTM ti­tle-holder Mat­tias Ek­strom has won twice in Swe­den at Hol­jes. Gymkhana, rally and ral­ly­cross star Ken Block raced in 2014 and fin­ished on the podium in Nor­way. The Amer­i­can will con­test a full sea­son this year.

WRC podium finisher Hen­ning Sol­berg has made reg­u­lar ap­pear­ances in a range of cars, while fel­low rally man Gigi Galli de­buted a Kia Rio at the end of 2015.

Man­fred Stohl con­tested a full sea­son with World RX Team Aus­tria last year, as did dou­ble JWRC cham­pion PG An­der­s­son with the Mark­lund Mo­tor­sport squad.

Dou­ble Bri­tish Rally cham­pion Guy Wilks con­tested a pair of events in a JRM Rac­ing Mini and made the fi­nal at Ly­d­den Hill, while an­other DTM cham­pion, Timo Schei­der, made his World RX de­but with Mun­nich Mo­tor­sport in Spain last year.

The 2013 Bri­tish Tour­ing Car cham­pion An­drew Jor­dan fin­ished on the podium at his home event, Ly­d­den Hill, in 2014 with Ols­bergs MSE, and has raced twice since for Peu­geot-hansen and EKS.

Amer­i­can Tan­ner Foust won in Fin­land 2014, and X Games stars Danny Way and the late Dave Mirra raced at Hock­en­heim in a pair of Mi­nis last year.

CAR

Ford Fi­esta Citroen C4 Ford Ka Citroen Xsara Mit­subishi Lancer E10 Citroen DS 3 Citroen DS 3 Ford Fi­esta Ford Fi­esta Ford Fo­cus Ford Fi­esta Peu­geot 208 Ford Fi­esta Ford Fo­cus Ford Fo­cus

De­fend­ing Na­tional Nav­i­ga­tion Trial cham­pi­ons Pakie Duffy and Evin Hughes took their third win of the sea­son to clinch the ti­tles for the se­cond year in suc­ces­sion, with Hughes tak­ing his third crown.

Af­ter a tricky, high-scor­ing 80-mile route based on Maud­abawn, they had two marks to spare over Mickey and Ciaran Ty­nan, with Martin Ty­nan and Fin­tan Clerkin tak­ing third place, com­plet­ing an­other clean sweep for Subaru Im­prezas.

Best of the two-wheel-drive crews were Richard Cas­sidy and Paul Phe­lan in their Vaux­hall Vec­tra, in fourth place, fol­lowed by semi-ex­pert win­ners Eoghan Corr/ Ruaidhri Nash.

Best novices Ai­dan Sherry/ Oisin Sher­lock were sev­enth over­all, with the top Begin­ners, the father-and-son pair­ing of Philip and Conor Smith, 10th. Last year’s win­ners Der­mot Whel­ton and Mark Mccarthy started the event with an out­side chance of tak­ing the cham­pi­onship. How­ever, a dif­fi­cult night left them down in ninth po­si­tion, with their ti­tle hopes dashed.

Jor­dan: a ral­ly­cross fan Villeneuve strug­gled

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