FIA World Rallycross

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

3 Mins read
Kristoffersson still leads in the fight for the 2022 WorldRX title, but his rivals are closing in. Credit: Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

The 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship is heading to the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the next double header in the all-new RX1e championship (08/09 October). All eyes will be on championship leader Johan Kristoffersson as he attempts to bounce back from the disappointment of his first loss this year last time out in Montalegre, but his rivals know that he is no longer unbeatable.

When it first joined in 2019, there was some hesitation among the WRX fanbase about another Formula 1 track being added to the calendar. However, all fears were quickly dismissed when the racing began. Featuring wide sweeping gravel corners, a spectacular jump, and an iconic blast up Eau Rouge, it is a track that requires “big balls,” as one driver memorably said in the first weekend.

Despite his winning streak ending in round five in Portugal, KMS driver Kristoffersson is still the favourite to take home the spoils. The Swedish driver has had to fight tooth and nail for every victory so far this year, and did cross the line first in Montalegre before the stewards awarded him a ten-second penalty for opening lap contact with title rival Timmy Hansen.

Both Timmy and his brother Kevin Hansen have demonstrated the almighty speed of their Hansen World RX Team cars, and have been in the running for victories at almost every event. Both drivers demonstrated some superb driving in Portugal, with Kevin being unlucky with a semi-final incident which saw his race ending in the wall, and Timmy being entangled in the contact with Kristoffersson in the final. They certainly have the team to do it. As Kevin said, “we were really slow starting off on both days, but we worked incredibly well to improve and the guys did an amazing job keeping the car in perfect race condition every time and working to improve the speed.”

Hansen leading Kristoffersson, a sight that the Hansen World RX Team would love to replicate in Belgium. Credit: @World / Redbull Content Pool

Another driver who feels supremely confident in his team is Kristoffersson’s teammate, Ole Christian Veiby. The Norwegian shares a similarly impressive accolade with his dominant teammate, having achieved four out of five podiums this year. The podium on day two at Montalegre was at best an unlikely outcome, having hit the wall hard at the end of heat one. “I was really happy and quite emotional to finish second” explained Veiby. “I honestly didn’t think that would be possible after heat one, and I owe the result to a fantastic team effort – giving up is not for us!”

The man who benefitted most from the chaos of round five was Finland’s Niclas Grönholm. CE Dealer Team finally broke their unlucky streak and Grönholm, who had been fighting hard all weekend and has been showing the car’s development since day one, claimed the top step of the podium. He was joined on the podium by his teammate, Klara Andersson, who made history by being the first ever female driver to stand on a WorldRX Podium. She made her debut at Spa around twelve months ago and is really settling in well to the sport, as is the third member of the KMS trio, Gustav Bergström. The Swedish teenager has already made quite the name for himself with his lightning launches away from the line and his ability to drive tactically. With two final appearances to his name already this season, he will be itching to step up to the podium as well.

As autumn draws in, the competition is only hotting up in this electrifying new season of World Rallycross action. Round six and seven of the FIA World Rallycross Championship take place at Spa-Francorchamps on 08/09 October.

1Johan KRISTOFFERSSONSWEKristoffersson MotorsportSWEVolkswagen RX1e
12Klara ANDERSSONSWEConstruction Equipment Dealer TeamSWEPWR RX1e
17Gustav BERGSTRÖMSWEGustav BergströmSWEVolkswagen RX1e
21Timmy HANSENSWEHansen World RX TeamSWEPeugeot 208 RX1e
52Ole Christian VEIBYNORKristoffersson MotorsportSWEVolkswagen RX1e
68Niclas GRÖNHOLMFINConstruction Equipment Dealer TeamSWEPWR RX1e
71Kevin HANSENSWEHansen World RX TeamSWEPeugeot 208 RX1e
77René MÜNNICHDEUALL-INKL.COM Muennich MotorsportDEUSEAT Ibiza RX1e
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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