The 2020 All-Star ‘Magic Weekend’ that runs in conjunction with RallyX Nordic at Höljes on 2-5 July has seen the first-four Legends class drivers announced as they have a chance to shine again in the Supercars.
The first name that appeared is the double FIA World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm and father to the current FIA World RX driver Niclas. Grönholm has 30 WRC victories to his name along with and 542 stage wins during his career before switching over to rallycross in 2008 to join the FIA European Rallycross Championship round at Höljes, which he won.
He continued to race in rallycross in the US in the Global Rallycross Championship, claiming five wins out of eight starts in 2011 and 2012 before he had a heavy crash at X Games 18 in Los Angeles which lead him to pull out from the sport.
The Finn hasn’t competed in a Supercar for more than eight years, with his latest competitive outing being a one-off appearance in WRC at the 2019 Rally Sweden for Toyota. Grönholm is now set to join the strong field in his son’s Hyundai i20 Supercar.
“This is not a comeback – I promised my family that I would stop permanent racing already some time ago – but as a one-off event, with fast cars and many great drivers, Höljes will be great fun and I’m looking forward to enjoying every bit of it in our GRX Hyundai i20 Supercar. Also, I’ll get to compare my lap times with Niclas, and I am sure he will give me a hard time chasing him…” Grönholm said.
The legendary Per Eklund is the second name to be announced, he won the first rallycross event at Höljes in 1971 and would later go on to take the 1999 FIA European Rallycross Championship. He is now set to return once again in one of his Volkswagen Beetle Supercars.
He competed last time in rallycross at the World RX of Sweden at Höljes in 2015, where he finish twenty-third out of the 35 strong entrants at the age of 70 and reached the final of RallyX Nordic round at his home-track in Arvika, Sweden in the same year.
“I’m excited. I have so many fond memories of Höljes. I helped to build the circuit and then won the first event held there, which was a winter race. For somewhere that’s literally in the middle of nowhere, there is so much passion for this little track amongst fans and I think what the organisers are doing with the ‘All-Star’ Magic Weekend is so good for Finnskoga MK and for the sport of rallycross in general.” Eklund said.
“We’ve been flat-out in the workshop recently, and now we need to go flat-out preparing for the event because I see some of my ‘Legends’ rivals have been getting a bit of practice in, so I have some catching-up to do! It’ll be fun to see all the boys again. I raced against the Walfridson family and had a lot of enjoyable battles with ‘Stecka’, too. I might be the oldest driver in the field, but hopefully I can still give them a good fight…”
Olsbergs MSE team principal Andreas Eriksson will also be returning for more action at Höljes after his appearance at the #RXQuarantine simulation race day with a Supercar Lites earlier this spring.
The 47-year-old has been a driving force behind this event; Eriksson was been active in rallycross between 2005 and 2011, he then put his focus on running the team that secured the world’s first FIA World RX team championship in 2014.
The team has also a respectable 19 X Games medals and has claimed several titles with the Supercar Lites cars, which is also designed by Eriksson.
“It’ll be a lot of fun to take on my fellow rallycross ‘dinosaurs’ in the ‘Legends’ class, and it will be interesting to see who’s still ‘got it’ after all these years! When I drove the final in our #RXQuarantine event at Höljes last month, it really gave me a taste for competition again, although I have had to assure my wife that this will be strictly a one-off!” Eriksson said.
“My speed was pretty good in the Lites car in that race, so now I’m really looking forward to stepping into a Supercar again because with 600bhp, the Fiesta is a whole different beast. I can’t wait to go wheel-to-wheel with these guys and I can promise all the action-starved fans watching at home via the livestream that they are going to enjoy one hell of a show!”
Stig-Olov ‘Stecka’ Walfridson is the last driver to be revealed in the first wave of the confirmed drivers, the 57-year-old two-time Swedish Rallycross Champion raced last time at Höljes in 2015, like Eklund where he finished in the top half of the intermediate classification of the 35 strong entrants.
I stopped racing full-time in 2013, but then came back for a one-off event at Höljes in 2015, which is the last time I drove competitively. I tested there recently in the Clio, which went quite well – though I quickly realised that at 57, I don’t have so much power in my arms anymore!” Walfridson said.
“The ‘All-Star’ Magic Weekend will be a lot of fun, although when the helmet goes on, there’s always an element of competition – particularly amongst us old guys! Höljes is obviously special to me as my home track, but it’s special to so many other people in the rallycross community too. I’m excited to go racing there again.”