Russian rally driver Vasiliy Gryazin is eager to recover from his injury blues as he joins the 2017 RX2 Series, keen to make a name for himself in the rallycross world.
The 23-year-old Moscow native, son of former Russian national rally champion Stanislav Gryazin, has learnt his craft in the Latvian Rally Championship, finishing second overall in Rally Liepaja, a round of the European Rally Championship, in 2014.
The following year, Vasiliy stepped up to the FIA European Rally Championship Junior class, driving a Peugeot 208 R2; however, a serious road accident in Latvia that summer – when he collided head-on with a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road – left him in intensive care with broken legs, concussion and internal organ damage.
A long road to recovery ensued, so Gryazin only entered a few rallies in both the Latvian and European championships, and also tried his hand at rallycross – perhaps inspired by the success of his compatriot Timur Timerzyanov – by taking part in the final RX Lites (predecessor to the RX2 Series) round in Latvia, where he finished ninth.
With his appetite whetted, the young Russian rally star has switched full-time to rallycross and is relishing the challenge ahead.
“I’m excited to be making the jump to rallycross in RX2 this year,” enthused Gryazin. “The aim for my rookie season has to be to compete in as many events as possible to gain maximum experience of the discipline and all the tracks. RX2 is the ideal proving ground and stepping-stone to ultimately progress to Supercar level in FIA World RX, and I can’t wait to get started!”
Vasiliy Gryazin will join reigning champion Cyril Raymond, Belgian fellow rallyist Guillaume De Ridder, Swedish former karters, brother and sister Andreas and Jessica Bäckman, their young compatriot William Nilsson, as well as American hotshot Tanner Whitten, on the grid for the seven rounds of the inaugural RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires. Further announcements will be made over the coming days.