Round three of the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place at Mettet in Belgium this weekend, as the series returns to the scene of one of its most exciting weekends from 2014.
In last years Supercar Final, Petter Solberg held off Johan Kristoffersson, Topi Heikkinen, Anton Marklund, Timmy Hansen and Pontus Tidemund before rear suspension failure caused the Norwegian to fall back as Heikkinen took his first ever WorldRX victory.
In 2015, the competition is even closer. Kristoffersson took his first win in Portugal whilst Solberg won last time out at Hockenheim to take the championship lead. Timmy Hansen has been consistent with two consecutive third places whilst Andreas Bakkerud has qualified for both Finals so far. Whilst SDRX lead the Teams Title, both Peugeot-Hansen and Ford OlsbergsMSE are close behind, looking for their first wins in 2015.
In Belgium, WorldRX is joined by the FIA European Rallycross Championship, with the Mettet circuit being the first of a five round series. A bumper total of 38 Supercars are confirmed to take part as Europe’s best take on the World’s best rallycross drivers over two days. In a change for 2015, whilst all drivers will compete in the heat stages together, the EuroRX Semi-Finals and Final will take part separately from the WorldRX events, meaning the drivers can fight directly against their opponents for the same title.
Amongst the drivers and teams competing in the European Championship are Jerome Grosset-Janin and James Grint at Albatec Racing in Peugeot 208 WRX’s whilst French team Pailler Competition will also field two 208 WRX’s for brothers Fabien and Jonathan. Tommy Rustad will be back in a HTB Racing/Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo whilst Ole Christian Veiby will begin his series assault for Volkswagen Team Sweden in a similar VW Polo. Former WRC driver Francois Duval will be a wildcard entry in a Mk2 Ford Focus whilst Ollie O’Donovan will debut his new RX Racing Ltd Mk7 Ford Fiesta which he will also use in the rest of the British series this year.
Also improving the show for 2015, the circuit has updated its Joker lap, as Reinis Nitiss explains.
“The end of the track has changed for this year, there’s a chicane and then uphill back onto asphalt into the last corner, which is now gravel at the entry,” said Nitiss. “The exit is on asphalt up to the finish line.”
The Supercars are also joined this weekend by both the Touring Cars and Super1600 categories over the two days of competition.