FIA World Rallycross

PREVIEW: 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship – Nürburgring, Germany

3 Mins read
Expect more door to door action at the season finale at the Nürburgring. Credit: Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

The 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship is set to round off the season in spectacular fashion. Not only is the championship returning to the legendary Nürburgring for a four way battle for second place in the season results, but a truly iconic car makes its debut and a fan favourite makes his return to the top tier of rallycross.

GCK‘s announcement that they were ready to unleash their Lancia Delta Eve-e RX at the final round of the season sent ripples of excitement through the rallycross fanbase. Almost exactly a year on from when it was first announced, it has finally been unveiled and it is a truly stunning beast to look at. The labour that has gone into it is mind-boggling; completing the chassis took 1,200 hours.

For all that the car’s power will be the same as that of the rest of the field (500kW, the equivalent of 680bhp), this outing is being used as a test run before launching a full-scale attack on the 2023 season. GCK founder, president, and driver Guerlain Chicherit is aware of the challenges ahead, saying “I have no doubt the Lancia will impress plenty of people out there. We’ll clearly need a bit of time to get to grips with the car and make it competitive, but right now, I’m just eager to get out on-track!”

A taste of the new Lancia Delta Evo-e which makes its debut in the Nürburgring. Credit: @World / Red Bull Content Pool

Another returning star is 2022 FIA European Rallycross Championship champion, Anton Marklund. The Swedish superstar will be stepping up to fill the position of René Münnich who is unavailable for the final round. Marklund wrapped up the EuroRX1 title with a round to spare, having been the dominant force all season. Now he gets to try his hand in the SEAT Ibiza RX1e and has made no secret of his desire to get back into the top tier of rallycross.

“I’ve definitely got some unfinished business there, and going into 2023 with some prior advantage of driving an RX1e car can only put me in a stronger position,” explained Marklund. “With no testing ahead of the race weekend and all the other drivers at the peak of their performance following almost a full season of experience, it’s going to be a huge challenge, but from the short time I’ve had trying out the RX2e car before, my driving style seems to suit electric pretty well.” It will be fascinating to see how much he and Chicherit can challenge for contention at the final round.

EuroRX1 champion Anton Marklund makes his return to WorldRX at the final round of the 2022 season. Credit: @World / Red Bull Content Pool

As if that weren’t excitement enough, a battle royale is brewing for second place in the championship. Timmy Hansen is currently in prime position, having taken the runner up spot to the unstoppable Johan Kristoffersson last time out in Belgium. The 2019 world champion takes a 9 point lead into the final round ahead of Niclas Grönholm, who in turn is 2 points ahead of Kristoffersson’s teammate Ole Christian Veiby and Hansen’s teammate Kevin Hansen. The trio have been almost impossible to separate this season. All three have been on the podium at least once this year and would arguably have taken a win had Kristoffersson not been so astonishingly fast this season.

The two other drivers, Klara Andersson and Gustav Bergström, have also been extremely impressive this season. Both making their rallycross debut in 2022, both have made storming progress, with Bergström becoming renowned for his lightning starts and reaching the podium 3 times in a row in Belgium and Spain.

Having said all of that, the favourite going into the event must surely be Johan Kristoffersson. He stormed to SuperPole victory by more than a second before annihilating the competition in the final in Barcelona, claiming the title with a round in hand. With the pace he has shown all season and the prodigious pace of his Volkswagen Polo RX1e, it is hard to see how he can be stopped.

The final round of the 2022 FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place 12/13 November at the Nürburgring in Germany.

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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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