Dan Rooke, the reigning MSA British Rallycross champion, has set his sights on graduating to the RX2 International series this year, but the young Brit is still seeking sponsors to turn his dream into reality.
Rooke’s rise through the ranks of the discipline has been nothing short of meteoric: he won his class and finished third overall on his competitive début at the end of 2014. The following year, he became champion in the SuperNational class and reache d the final in the inaugural RX Talent Search at Lydden Hill, earning the British Rallycross Driver of the Year accolade.
Last season, 19-year-old Dan moved up to Supercars, clinching the title on his first ever campaign in such class – defeating a whole host of more experienced rivals along the way. He is therefore eager to make an impact on the international scene, and is aiming at contesting at least the five European rounds (Mettet, Lydden Hill, Hell, Höljes, Lohéac) on the RX2 calendar, or even the whole season, which includes two further overseas meetings in Canada and South Africa.
“RX2 is an aspirational series for any young rallycross driver aiming to reach the top of the sport,” said Rooke, who conducted passenger rides during last week’s FIA World Rallycross Championship Media Day in Barcelona. “There’s a real buzz around RX2 right now, with an ever-growing profile – and for me, it’s the perfect stepping-stone to move up from the British Championship to the international stage.
“With a lot of quick young drivers already signed up, the competition promises to be fierce and with all cars being equal, RX2 really presents the perfect opportunity to show what you can do in front of all the sport’s biggest teams in World RX.
“We’re not quite there yet financially – we still need more support to get onto the grid – but we’re working flat-out to make it happen and hopefully we’ll have some positive news between now and the first round at Mettet next month.”
So far, only seven drivers have confirmed their commitment to a full RX2 campaign: reigning champion Cyril Raymond, Swedish young gun William Nilsson, American hotshot Tanner Whitten, Swedish siblings Jessica and Andreas Bäckman, and former rallyists, Belgian Guillaume De Ridder and Russian Vasiliy Gryazin.