It may not have the glam­our of For­mula 1, but the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of rallycross, and the star names it’s at­tract­ing, is proof it can more than hold its own in the hi­er­ar­chy of world mo­tor­sport


The next big thing in mo­tor­sport

THERE’S A CLIP ON YOUTUBE of Ital­ian rally driver Gigi Galli ne­go­ti­at­ing a tar­mac hair­pin with his usual flair in a Mit­subishi Lancer Evo VI. He pitches the car broad­side be­fore the turn even starts, his car tak­ing up the full width of the road and al­most point­ing back where it came from as it en­ters the hair­pin, be­fore slid­ing through the cor­ner and onto the fol­low­ing straight.

Imag­ine that same turn, but on dirt, and while over­tak­ing five cars in a sin­gle hit. That mo­ment, sup­plied by Kevin Eriks­son at the Ger­man round of the 2016 World Rallycross Cham­pi­onship, is rallycross in a nut­shell. It’s long been an ex­cit­ing spec­ta­tor sport, re­ally tak­ing off when driv­ers like Will Gol­lop and Ken­neth Hansen cam­paigned 6R4s and RS200s, but in the age of in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion, there’s never been a bet­ter time for it to thrive.

The 2018 sea­son kicks off on 14 April in Catalunya, and un­furls across Europe and Scan­di­navia, North Amer­ica and South Africa, with each event com­pris­ing four qual­i­fy­ing heats, two semi-fi­nals and a fi­nal. Three to five cars take part in each four-lap heat, while semi-fi­nals and fi­nals pit six cars against each other for six laps.

As an FIA se­ries, World Rallycross is young, hav­ing started in 2014, but fierce com­pe­ti­tion means we’ve al­ready seen four dif­fer­ent teams and three dif­fer­ent driv­ers tri­umph. The sport is big busi­ness, and over the fol­low­ing pages we’ll tell you all you need to know about it.

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