FIA World Rallycross

PREVIEW: 2016 FIA World RX of Norway

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The World RX Of Norway is the fifth round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship and another exciting and competitive event is waiting in the wings at the circuit of Hell which sees 18 Supercars contesting the event.

So far in 2016 EKSRX driver Mattias Ekstrom has shown that he is the form man of the championship, having taken his Audi S1 Supercar to three wins out of four events so far. However, his fiercest rival Petter Solberg will be looking for his second win of the year at his home event, after winning the opening round in Portugal. Both men have held the mantle of Top Qualifier this season and you can bet that come the Supercar Final on Sunday, they will be vying for victory.

Ekstrom’s team-mate Topi Heikkinen has enjoyed a return to front running form, however after a difficult out at the World RX of Great Britain last time out, Heikkinen will be looking to return to winning ways and with Ekstrom leading the Drivers Championship, the determination is already there. Volkswagen RX Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson has been a regular front runner this year with two appearances in the Final and currently sits in third place in the Drivers Championship, where he will be looking for that first podium of 2016 whilst team-mate Anton Marklund has been improving in speed at every event and expect him to be challenging for a semi-Final place.

Team Peugeot-Hansen took a 1-2 finish in 2015 and are looking for a repeat performance in 2016. Sebastien Loeb is adapting quickly to World RX, taking his maiden podium finish in Belgium and is looking for more in Hell. Team-mate Timmy Hansen won the event in 2015 and is looking to previous knowledge to help him regain his winning form. Peugeot-Hansen Academy’s Davy Jeanney finished second at the 2015 event and is hungry for a return to his winning form this weekend.

The Ford contingent in World RX are incredibly competitive and this weekend will be no exception. Hoonigan Racing have been working hard on their 2016 Ford Focus RS RX and the teams drivers have been on thrilling form. Andreas Bakkerud has shown amazing speed in the Focus, making it to the Final twice whilst Ken Block is looking for his second chance at the Final after Hockenheim. World RX Team Austria are making big strides this year with their Stohl Engineering built Fiestas that have seen them making regular appearances in the Semi-Finals. Janis Baumanis is long overdue a Supercar Final spot whilst former Double European Champion Timur Timerzyanov is showing flashes of his dominant form at both Belgium and the UK. After his memorable roll in the 2015 Semi-Final last year, expect the Russian to be looking for more.

The OlsbergsMSE outfit is showing good speed with its young driver lineup with Kevin Eriksson regularly in the hunt for a Semi-Final Spot whilst Niclas Gronholm is improving with each round in the top flight. Munnich Motorsport will see this as a further chance to develop their brand new SEAT Ibiza Supercar and so far Reinis Nitiss and Rene Munnich has made impressive strides in the car, which has taken Qualifying race wins. A Semi-Final place is not far away and the attrition rate that befalls Hell could see a surprise placing.

Liam Doran will be after a more positive outing in Norway after the troubled debut of the JRM World RX 2.0 litre BMW Mini. Doran made a memorable appearance in the Semi-Final and Final at Hockenheim and once the Daventry based team unlocks that pace from the new car, expect the British Bomb to be back to his best and fighting at the front. Fellow Independent race Robin Larsson will be on fighting form this weekend after a good start to the year has seen him qualify for the Finals twice and the Swedish driver will be out to upset the big guns in his Audi A1.

The 2016 World RX Of Norway takes place on 10 – 12 June.

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