Fifteen permanent entries for 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship

by Vince Pettit
FIA World Rallycross Championship

Fifteen permanent entries have been lodged with the FIA for the upcoming 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.

With other entries expected for part-season or one-off programmes, six teams and three individual entries make up the championship field.

Leading the way is 2017 World RX Champion Johan Kristoffersson, carrying the #1 on his car this season, alongside 2014 and 2015 title winner Petter Solberg in their PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo R.

EKS Audi Sport line up with team owner Mattias Ekstrom looking to regain the championship title with the added support of proven race winner Andreas Bakkerud in their new-spec Audi S1. With increased support from Audi, this season team will be looking to get their season off to a quick start.

Another familiar name returns with Team Peugeot Total, Kenneth Hansen remains at the helm of the team, but this year it is a factory Peugeot effort. A pair of new-for-2018 Peugeot 208s will be driven by Sébastien Loeb as he looks to mount a serious title challenge, while Timmy Hansen is back once again alongside the Frenchman. Kevin Hansen will also race under the Team Peugeot Total banner in at 2017-specification 208 as an individual entry.

Olsbergs MSE returns after taking a year out with two new Ford Fiesta’s and an all-Swedish line up of Kevin Eriksson and Robin Larsson.

Marcus Gronholm‘s GRX Taneco Team is back with Niclas Gronholm leading the team, while Timur Timerzyanov joins the line up for 2018 as they bring a pair of Hyundai i20‘s, based on the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship platform.

One of the most anticipated entrants for the 2018 season is the GC Kompetition team and their two Prodrive built Renault Megane RS‘. Owner-driver Guerlain Chicherit forms half of a French superteam, bringing on board former French Champion and European Championship event winner Jerome Grosset-Janin.

Sébastien Loeb Racing enter into the World Rallycross arena with one ORECA-developed Peugeot 208; Grégoire Demoustier takes on driving duties for the team.

Team Stard return with one permanent entry and Janis Baumanis driving their Ford Fiesta.

Proven quailty and new additions for World RX

“With 15 drivers – including eight race winners and three champions – the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship represents exceptional strength this year,” said World RX Managing Director for IMG, Paul Bellamy.

“PSRX Volkswagen Sweden proved formidable with Johan Kristoffersson in 2017, but they are sure to face a huge challenge from their rivals this year, not least EKS Audi Sport, Team Peugeot Total and Oslbergs MSE.

“Then, of course, there are the exciting additions from GC Kompetition’s Renaults and the new Hyundais from GRX Taneco Team, all of which give this year’s field immense variety.

“With new events for 2018, a rapidly growing support base and increasing involvement from manufacturers, World RX is surely set for another memorable season.”

The season begins with World RX of Catalunya Barcelona Spain on April 14-15.

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