06 Mar 2019
The World Rallycross championship has unveiled a strong 16-car field for the upcoming season.
A number of big names are featured on the entry list, which comes after a difficult winter for the series following the exits of the factory Audi, Peugeot, and Volkswagen teams.
The most notable inclusions on the list are Andreas Bakkerud and Liam Doran who will drive a pair of Audi S1s for the new Monster Energy RX Cartel team.
Where Bakkerud would race in 2019 has been of particular interest during the off-season following both of his teams from the last two seasons withdrawing. The Norwegian joined the EKS Audi squad last year after Ford’s departure at the end of 2017, but with Audi pulling its support for EKS this year, he has once again been on the lookout for a drive.
He is joined by Doran who, after a handful of cameo appearances in World RX and Americas Rallycross last year, will compete in his first full top-level campaign since 2015.
Timmy and Kevin Hansen, who were also victims of World RX’s manufacturer exodus, will return as well. Their family team has teamed up with Max Pucher’s MJP organisation to field a pair of ex-works Peugeot 208s for the Swedish siblings.
GC Kompetition will again field a pair of Prodrive-built Renault Mégane R.S.s for team boss Guerlain Chicherit and Anton Marklund, and will also campaign a brace of Renault Clio Supercars under the GCK Academy banner for 2018 RX2 runner up Guillaume De Ridder and two-time RX2 and GRC Lites champion Cyril Raymond.
The GRX Hyundai squad also returns with a three-car assault spearheaded by Niclas Grönholm and Timur Timerzyanov, with Reinis Nitišs also expected to feature.
The 2019 season is set to mark the first time Volkswagen hasn’t been represented, either as a privateer or factory operation, since the series’ inception, although sister brand Škoda will be present for the first time. The new ESMotorsport squad will field a Škoda Fabia for Rokas Baciuška, with a second car being added for former World Rally driver Kevin Abbring later in the year.
“What we have put together is a high quality entry list which features names synonymous with world rallycross, and a number of young guns aiming for the world championship crown,” said Paul Bellamy, Senior Vice President of series promoter IMG Motorsports. “This underlines the robust nature of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.”
“The entry list illustrates the lure of World RX for both teams and drivers,” he added. “We have all the ingredients for a fierce battle among privateer teams seeking the kudos of a world championship in one of motorsports’ most demanding environments.”
“To have 11 nationalities of drivers and eight automotive brands going head-to-head adds further spice and intrigue.”
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