The FIA European Rallycross Championship has announced the entry lists for the 2017 season, which confirm the drivers competing in the Supercar, Super1600 and TouringCar classes.
For the Supercar Class, there are 29 permanent season entries in what looks to be the most competitive season yet since the Championship became a five event series back in 2015. With 2016 Champion Kevin Hansen moving up to the FIA World Rallycross Championship, this means that there is no defending champion, however there are plenty of drivers who could seal this crown.
2014 Champion Robin Larsson moves back to Euro RX after two seasons in World RX and is surely a favourite in his iconic Audi A1 “Diane” for title honours. The Swedish driver has one win in World RX, but he utterly dominated his 2014 title winning season. 2015 Champion Tommy Rustad returns to the series for his second consecutive season with Albatec Racing. The knowledge gained from last year with the Peugeot 208 will be put to good use by the Norwegian, who himself dominated his title season also.
Looking at the entry list, its obvious that the Ford Fiesta has been the popular choice for the 2017 season with 11 of these entered. The drivers that already have good knowledge of their cars are 2007 British Rallycross Champion Ollie O’Dononvan, two-time FIA Euro RX TouringCar champion Derek Tohill, and Polish driver Martin Kaczmarski. JC Raceteknik enter two Fiesta’s for their first full season of Euro RX with RX2 race winner Thomas Bryntesson making his full season debut in the class alongside team-mate Ola Froshaug.
Fellow Ford Fiesta drivers include Estonian drivers Mart Tikkerbar and Andri Oun, Belgian driver Michaël De Keersmaecker, Euro RX regular Mats Öhman and German driver Andreas Steffen who returns for his second season of competition. Joachim Hvaal also moves up from RX2 as part of the Hedstrom Motorsport team.
There are four Peugeot 208 WRX’s entered, which is down on 2016, however once again experience with this type of car will be key. Albatec Racing have two entries with Finnish Champion Jere Kalliokoski joining Rustad for his first season whilst Tamás Pál Kiss returns in the Speedbox Racing Team 208. Kiss was might fast last year and will again be one to watch in 2017. The final Peugeot entered is for French driver Patrick Guillerme who makes a full time move to the series.
The Volkswagen Polo is another popular choice for 2017 and there are four of these entered by two outfits. Hedstrom Motorsport have expanded to three cars for 2017 with Hvaal in a Ford Fiesta, however both Peter Hedstrom and Alexander Hvaal will drive the teams two Polo Supercar’s. The other team that’s moved to Euro RX will be well known to World RX fans: Marklund Motorsport. The Swedish outfit has split from what was Volkswagen RX Sweden and will run both Anton Marklund and former FIA Euro RX TouringCar driver Magda Andersson. Whilst Andersson will be learning the Supercar craft, Marklund will surely be a regular visitor to the Semi-Finals at least.
There will be two entries from Munnich Motorsport with Rene Munnich racing the SEAT Ibiza RX he debuted in World RX last whilst Mandie August will campaign the Audi S3 that she has raced in Rallycross Challenge Europe recently. Munnich will also be taking part in non-clashing World RX rounds as well. Adding to the Audi count is Tamas Karai who returns in his A1 Supercar.
Completing the entry list are Riku Tahko in his #Minisuomi run BMW Mini, Tom Daniel Tånevik returning in the venerable Volvo C30 whilst there are three Citroen’s running in the series this year. Jerome Grosset-Janin has moved over to Herve Knapick’s squad where he will compete full time in a Citroen DS3. The French driver has been a strong contender in Euro RX and will be looking to seal that first title this year. Andreas Dubourg moves up to the Supercar Class in the DA Racing DS3 whilst Ole Kristian Temte will campaign his Citroen C4 Supercar.
As you can see, the Supercar Class has a very competitive field of drivers for 2017 and this will be one of the most open seasons in Euro RX for some time. Anyone can win and we will know who that hard fought winner will be when we get to the final round at Latvia in September.