Ramona Karlsson will compete as the first woman in World RX, having signed a deal with Per Eklund Motorsport to drive a Saab 93 Supercar in at least seven rounds.
Her racing career began at the age of 12, where she was a two-time winner of the Swedish Crosskart Championship. In 2000 she made her rally debut, while 2012 saw her compete in six rounds of the PWRC, entering the championship’s first all-female team. She claimed the title of Swedish rally driver of the year in 2013.
“It feels great to be working with Per Eklund – one of Sweden’s top racing drivers,” said 33-year-old Karlsson, who will be joined in the team by Henning Solberg, elder brother of full-time World RX driver, Petter. “The team has a lot of experience and the Supercar class is where the most extreme rallycross cars are so I’m excited to be involved. I’m obviously looking to fight with the top drivers and it’s good that I’m able to score both Euro RX and World RX points this year. I can’t wait to get the season underway in Portugal.”
The pair of 93s will be the only representatives of Saab in the championship, competing alongside other marques such as Citroen, Audi, Skoda and Renault, who will all be taking on the official manufacturer backed teams from Peugeot, Ford and Volkswagen.
“It’s really exciting to have Ramona in our team this year,” offered team owner Per Eklund. “She’s already proved how quick she is in a rally car and now rallycross is her next challenge. We’ve previously invested in young Finland’s Topi Heikkinen when he was new in rallycross – and now look where he is. Ramona is the first female in World RX and it will be interesting to follow her development this year.”
“Adding Ramona and Henning to our driver line-up in 2014 is more fantastic news for our Championship,” added the Managing Director of the FIA World Rallycross Championship for IMG Motorsport, Martin Anayi. “With the opening round in Portugal just over a month away, all the teams are now in their final preparations for what is expected to be an extremely competitive year of racing ahead. Ramona is a very talented driver and of course it’s encouraging to have another car marque in the form of Saab on the grid. I’m also pleased to hear that Henning will join us again this year, he is one of the most technically astute drivers out there and of course it will be interesting to watch the sibling rivalry between himself and Petter.”