European Rallycross

PREVIEW: 2022 FIA European Rallycross Championship – Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

2 Mins read
L-R: Enzo Ide, Janis Baumanis, and the champion Anton Marklund. Credit: @World / Red Bull Content Pool

Coming off the back of a stunning maiden win in Portugal, Belgium’s Enzo Ide is in prime position to take the final win of the 2022 FIA European Rallycross Championship as the season comes to a close at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps. If he manages to do so, he may leapfrog rival Janis Baumanis to take second-place behind the 2022 champion, Anton Marklund.

To motorsports fans of any discipline, Spa-Francorchamps surely needs no introduction. Fewer people are perhaps aware that, since 2019, it has been a driver’s favourite on the rallycross circuit. In a change for this year, loose gravel has been added to the bottom of the long banked corner, hopefully affording even more overtaking opportunities, as the drivers will have to choose a line and stick with it for the full sweep of the turn.

Ide certainly deserved his win in Montalegre last time out. Having had consistently great pace all year, he has had a string of bad luck. In Portugal, however, everything went right for him. “I kept my head cool and stayed focussed all day, and I was very happy to end the weekend on a high with my first rallycross victory,” Ide explained. When speaking about his team he added “it’s amazing. The EKS guys are a great bunch of people and we’ve been working hard from the beginning. This goes to show that hard work pays off.”

Baumanis certainly has the pace to hold off an attack from Ide, but he too has been unlucky this season, and is now too far from Marklund to deny him a third Euro RX title. Baumanis responded like a gentleman, saying “I was happy for Enzo that he got his first win and happy for Anton that he won the championship. Congratulations to him – we had our share of fights and contact, but he is a very, very worthy champion.” These sentiments will in no way diminish his desire to keep Ide at bay, and also take #YellowSquad‘s first victory of the season.

Baumanis in Montalegre after contact with the barrier. Credit: @World / Red Bull Content Pool

Meanwhile, Marklund will want to finish the season in style. He has had a superb year, thanks in no small part to the SET Promotion team, for whom he is full of praise: “It’s been an awesome year. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked with such good guys – if I ever have, indeed. It’s just amazing. They do everything down to the very smallest detail and have given me the right tools to do the job, and I think we have treated those tools well. I’m extremely lucky.”

All eyes will be on the battle for second place. However, with a whole field of talent chasing them down, and 4 different winners from 5 events, don’t rule out one final twist in this year’s campaign. It’s all to play for as the championship heads to its finale at Spa (08/09 October).

5Mika LIIMATAINENFINBetomik Racing TeamFINFord Fiesta
6Jānis BAUMANIS*LVA#YellowSquadSWEPeugeot 208
8Peter HEDSTRÖMSWEHedströms MotorsportSWEVolkswagen Polo
10Mikko IKONENFINBetomik Racing TeamFINHyundai i20
18Juha RYTKÖNENFINBetomik Racing TeamFINHyundai i20
24Sivert SVARDALNORSivert SvardalNORVolkswagen Polo
30Tom André SAETNANNORTom André SaetnanNORVolkswagen Scirocco
31Stefan KRISTENSSONSWETeam SkåabSWEFord Fiesta
33Ulrik LINNEMANN*DNKLinnemann PromotionDNKFord Fiesta
38Mandie AUGUST*DEUALL-INKL.COM Muennich MotorsportDEUSEAT Ibiza
44Dariusz TOPOLEWSKI*POLOponeoPOLFord Fiesta
50Attila MÓZER*HUNNyirád Motorsport KFTHUNFord Fiesta
55Paulius PLESKOVASLTUTSK Baltijos SportasLTUFord Fiesta
67Frank VALLENORFrank ValleNORFord Fiesta
73Tamás KÁRAI*HUNKárai Motorsport SportegyesületHUNAudi S1
84Hervé KNAPICKFRAHervé KnapickFRACitroën DS3
88Marcin GAGACKI*POLOponeoPOLFord Fiesta
92Anton MARKLUND*SWESET PromotionFINHyundai i20
EuroRX1 entry list for the Benelux World RX of Spa
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Lifelong fan of motor sport, covering the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the FIA WEC, the shortest and longest races covered by the FIA!
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