World Rallycross Championship - Round 12 at Franciacorta - preview
Penultimate round of FIA World Rallycross Championship will be held this weekend at Franciacorta Circuit in Italy. There are 43 Supercars on the entry list, of which 22 drivers will compete in World RX competition, while the rest will fight for points in Euro RX classification. Reigning world champion Petter Solberg and Timmy Hansen are leading in the title chase.
Young Timmy Hansen, who won the 2014 race at Franciacorta and also won three of the last four rounds of this year’s championship, is just 19 points behind Solberg, so we can expect that he will do anything to remain in contention for the 2015 crown ahead of November’s finale in Argentina. With a maximum of 30 points at one event, third placed Johan Kristoffersson is also in the game for the title, because he is 55 points behind Solberg. In the Teams’ standings Team Peugeot-Hansen have a big advantage ahead of Ford Olsbergs MSE sqaud, so they will probably secure the title on the track where they achieved their maiden World RX victory last year.
Among regulars entrants we will see some famous guest drivers in World RX competition. Legendary rally driver Gianluigi ‘Gigi’ Galli and his GGRX Team will have devut with all-new Kia Rio Supercar. Former F1 driver and current competitor in TCR International Series Gianni Morbidelli will replace his touring car with ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport’s Audi S3, instead of Alx Danielsson.
One more driver-owner will be replaced due to obligations in other series – Mattias Esktrom will compete in this weekend’s DTM finale, so BTCC star Andrew Jordan will sit in Ekstrom’s Audi S1. Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit, who debuted with JRM Racing’s Mini at Loheac, will return to competion at Franciacorta. Another Frenchman Gaetan Serazin, who is currently locked in a battle for the French Rallycross Championship title, will compete in his Peugeot 208 at Franciacorta. Norway’s Henning Solberg will drive Eklund Motorsport’s VW Beetle for the second time this season.
Franciacorta will host the fifth and final round of the FIA European Rallycross Championship, where Marklund Motorsport’s Tommy Rustad and Albatec Racing’s Jerome Grosset-Janin will fight it out for the championship title. Joining the regular Euro RX competitors will be Hungary’s Tamas Pal Kiss in a Hansen Talent Development Peugeot 208 and Norway’s Ole Kristian Temte in his Citroen C4. Anders Braten will make his Supercar debut at the event in the Drive For Life run Ford Focus Supercar.
Super1600 and RX Lites drivers will compete in their final 2015 event in Italy. Latvia’s Janis Baumanis is set to take the Super1600 title while the RX Lites Cup is set to go down to the wire with Kevin Hansen, Thomas Bryntesson and Kevin Eriksson, all with a chance of taking the crown. OlsbergsMSE will also run RX Lites cars for Oliver Eriksson and Austin Cindric, who regularly compete in Global Rallycross Championship in USA.