PREVIEW: 2016 World RX of Germany – Can Ekstrom seal the Title?


Something that has been a constant in the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship is the element of uncertainty and that element will come into play at the 2016 World RX of Germany this weekend.

Mattias Ekstrom has the first of two chances to seal the 2016 World RX Drivers Title in Germany. If he finishes the event with a thirty point lead, the Swedish driver cannot be caught in Argentina and will take his first ever FIA World title. However with a twenty-seven point lead over Johan Kristoffersson at Volkswagen RX Sweden, the man who has been fastest on day two for the last three World RX events and a thirty-four point advantage over rival Petter Solberg, who always has a plan, then the answer here is clear and simple:

Expect the Unexpected in Germany.

As well as the Drivers Title being up for grabs, the FIA World Rallycross Teams Championship is also hotting up. EKSRX have an eight point lead over Team Peugeot-Hansen and with the points haul that the Franco-Swedish squad took in Latvia, this title will go to the wire in Argentina in November. With Sebastien Loeb taking his first World RX win in Latvia and Timmy Hansen being a regular podium visitor this year, both Ekstrom and team-mate Topi Heikkinen are looking to maintain their advantage in Germany.

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Tommy Rustad in the Munnich Motorsport 2015 Audi A3 Supercar. Credit: IMG / FIA World RX

Alongside the World RX regulars are a few of the regular drivers from the FIA European Rallycross Championship. 2016 Champion Kevin Hansen will step up to World RX duty alongside team-mate and 2015 World RX of Germany winner Davy Jeanney in the Peugeot-Hansen Academy outfit.

2015 Champion Tommy Rustad makes his second start for the Munnich Motorsport squad in their SEAT Ibiza Supercar alongisde Team Principle Rene Muennich whilst local driver Andreas Steffen will be out in his Ford Fiesta. Alexander Hvaal will race the Eklund Motorsport Volkswagen Beetle he has campaigned in Euro RX this year, while his Euro RX team mate Joni-Pekka Rajala will debut a Mitsubishi Mirage.

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Tanner Foust in the Volkswagen RX Sweden Polo Supercar. Credit: Volkswagen RX Sweden

Former Red Bull Global Rallycross Champion Tanner Foust will make his second start of the season in a Volkswagen Polo run by the Volkswagen RX Sweden team, while former Swedish Rallycross Champion Peter Hedstrom will race a similar car.

Former WRC driver Gigi Galli returns for his second event of the year in the Kia Rio Supercar whilst 2016 RX Lites Champion Cyril Raymond moves up to the Supercar class as part of his prize for winning the 2016 title, driving an OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta alongside regular drivers Niclas Gronholm, 2016 Swedish Rallycross Champion Kevin Eriksson and Reinis Nitiss.

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Semi Final action from the 2015 World RX of Germany. Credit: IMG / FIA World RX

With its notorious first turn hairpin being responsible for some many races being decided and with many an accident also deciding the outcome of those races, one thing is clear going into the World RX of Germany this weekend… Anything can happen…and it will…