This weekend marks the start of the 2020 season for the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super 1600 at the Catalunya Grand Prix circuit – which will feature the first-ever double-header weekend for the front-wheel-drive support class.
Originally, a total of 22 drivers were set to take part this weekend, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, several changes to the entry list have been made.
The Super 1600 field will be running alongside the FIA World Rallycross Championship which are also having another double header race weekend.
2020 will be the fifth year the Super 1600 series has ran at the track which featured for first time in 2015.
Due to many changes in the calendar caused by the pandemic, the season was only possible to start this weekend and this year it will feature three rounds in total; two of them this weekend and the season finale that is set to take place at the Nürburgring in Germany later in December.
Who to look out for…
A large number of the drivers on the entry list have raced at Catalunya before. These include both Gergely Marton and Artur Egorov who stood on the podium, and both of them are ones to look out for this weekend.
The Super 1600 powerhouse Volland Racing dominated most of the last year’s season with taking the first, second and third places in the championship. The team is set to field another five car Audi A1 entry this season but it is still unknown if all of them will race in Catalunya. From what we know, the Norwegian Super 1600 legend Marius Bermingrud will be replacing Timur Shigabutdinov in one of the cars.
The reigning champion Aydar Nuriev misses out this year and he has been replaced by Marat Knyazev for the shortened season.
Super 1600 legends Zsolt SZIJJ Jolly, Pavel Vimmer and Marcel Suchý are all returning for another season and with their experience of the cars you should see them near the top of the leaderboards.
The multiple Super 1600 championship winning team SET Promotion is also returning to the series after being away for one season. They will be field a Renault Twingo for the reigning RX Academy champion Rasmus Tuominen as part of his championship winning prize.
More newcomers for this weekend are the Portugese Super 1600 driver Joao Ribeiro, former FIA ERC driver Jan Cérny, Martin Kjær from Norway and Mikhail Simonov from Russia.
The layout of Catalunya
- Track lenght: 1.135km
- Asphalt / gravel: 60.4% / 39.6%
- 2019 winner: Aydar Nuriev
- Most podiums: Krisztian Szabo (3)
The rallycross track in Spain is located within turns 10 and turn 15 of the Formula 1 circuit, and most of the asphalt sections of the rallycross circuit uses the F1 circuit as a base.
New for this season is a safety improvement of turn three which is the long right-hander on the first gravel section. Previously a tyre wall was used but this has been replaced by a steel guard rail.
Catalunya has been playing host to the championship in early Spring in recent seasons, but for this year it is back to hosting in an autumn date as like it did back in 2015.
Where to watch?
For first time since the standalone event of Estering in 2019, the Super 1600 will be featured live alongside the World RX and can be followed on the official FIA World Rallycross Championship YouTube and Facebook pages. Coverage is as usual presented by regular presenter Neil Cole and commentary by Andrew Coley and Dan Rooke.
The TV show like usual starts one hour before the finals get underway. If you live in a country without a local TV broadcasting deal, you can still continue to watch it on social media but if you can’t access these, have a look at these national TV listings to see where the championship is broadcast.