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PREVIEW: 2022 Nitro Rallycross Round 7 GP3R

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Credit: Nitro Rallycross Media

Following Nitro Rallycross’ last appearance at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in November of 2022, the series will land in Canada for its first foray into ice and snow racing. Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, Canada will host the first of two ice and snow rounds scheduled for Nitro Rallycross in the latter half of the season. Trois-Rivieres has been the site of rallycross rounds in previous years namely to the World Rallycross Championship and America’s Rallycross both in 2019. 

The transfer from dirt to ice and snow only holds a few advantages to those that have driven stage rallies or tested the car on ice at last years Race of Champions showing, so drivers like Kevin and Oliver Eriksson, Andreas Bakkerud, and Oliver Bennett lead tomorrows racing with a slight edge. Elsewhere the rest of the competitors will have to learn the skill and come to grips with the track as they go. 

Points leader and RX Cartel driver Robin Larsson comes into this round fresh off his last win in Phoenix as he looks to remain atop the standings for the Group E class. The Swede has managed to only miss out on the podium once all season and given the opportunity would like to keep that going. Teammate Andreas Bakkerud will be eager to step back into the car after another terrible incident. His last time out in Phoenix left him with a totaled car after contact over the jump sent him rolling off the side of the track. The driver was deemed OK but the car was totaled. Bakkerud will be looking to attack hard this weekend as he finds his place back on track. Fraser McConnell will be primed to fight for his spot in the standings as he remains third heading into the weekend.

At OMSE Oliver and Kevin Eriksson are primed and ready to take on the weekend after having tested the FC1-X last winter at the Race of Champions where they got the full experience of using the new studded tires required for this weekend’s race. Oli took home second place in his last outing after additionally getting his first top qualifier award of the season. Kevin Eriksson strives to continue his progress to getting an award medal. Oli sits at fourth and Kevin remains at ninth in the standings.

Kris Meeke returns at XITE Energy Racing with Oliver Bennett. Meeke’s last outing resulted in some tough battles with Travis Pastrana but he fought his way through into the final. Meeke remains a fast driver bringing his skills from the World Rally Championship as he acclimates to rallycross while Oli Bennett seems to get faster with each round making his first in round 6. Bennett managed to get into a few scrapes that would put him in front of the stewards but the driver looked faster no less. Bennett stands in seventh and Meeke holds eighth in the standings. 

Vermont Sportscar’s Travis Pastrana won the first race of the doubleheader weekend at round 5 in Phoenix. The action superstar will honor the late Ken Block with a special tribute livery representing the 2005 snow-camo livery Block ran for a season in a stage rally. Pastrana, who currently sits fifth in the championship, has shown good pace this season preventing that he doesn’t have damage. Teammate Connor Martell will return to the track also after having his best finish in the doubleheader weekend in Phoenix. He’s had a slow season with mechanical issues that keep him out of contention so he will be looking to get back into the mix this weekend. 

The season resumes action this weekend on the snowy and icy banks of Trois-Rivieres 20-21 of January.

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Hello, I’m Kieran the lead Nitro Rallycross contributor. I’ve been writing and doing race photography for a few years. My favorite motorsport discipline is Rallycross and I’ve been following the sport since 2016. My passion runs deep for the sport, so much that I've become a successful sim racer finishing 52nd in the world in the 2020 iRX season and competing in multiple series. Make sure to check back here often to read all things Nitro Rallycross.
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