World Rallycross Championship - Round 5 at Estering - preview
The fifth round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship will take place at the Estering in north Germany this weekend (20/21 June). Spectators will see a total of 75 cars on the track – 36 Supercars, 20 Super 1600 entries and 19 TouringCars.
This event is also the 2nd round of this year’s five-round FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX). Eighteen Supercar drivers will be eligible to score World Championship points in Germany, while the remaining 18 Supercars will battle in Euro RX.
The Estering is the second oldest track in the World RX calendar (Lydden Hill is the oldest), with the circuit having hosted international events since 1973. Set 30 miles south of Hamburg, the traditional German RX track is just 950 metres long but is among the fastest of the year with a long, downhill run between turns one and two. Last year’s event saw the closest finish in rallycross history when Petter Solberg took the win over Mattias Ekstrom by an unbelievable margin of just five thousandths of a second.
Since the previous World RX round at Lydden Hill, several of the World RX drivers have gained valuable tests, for example EKS driver Anton Marklund or whole crew of Team Peugeot-Hansen. Meanwhile, the “British Bomb” Liam Doran and Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud have both been enjoying some time in USA, where they competed at the recent X Games in Austin.
Marklund Motorsport’s Topi Heikkinen was also in Austin, commentated on the X Games action for Finnish television. While resting from rallycross, Johan Kristofferson has continued his winning ways in the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia, triumphing in both races at the Anderstorp Raceway.
Four drivers will compete on home soil this weekend: ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport team owner and driver Rene Muennich, two-time German Rallycross Champion Jorg Jockel plus S1600 drivers Andreas Steffen and Mandie August.
Notable entries in the Euro RX include Volkswagen Team Sweden’s Ole Christian Veiby, who recently contested WRC Portugal, finishing fifth in WRC3. He is also the second overall in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) after two rounds. Scottish-based team Albatec Racing will field two Peugeot 208s which will be driven by Jerome Grosset-Janin and James Grint.
After four events, reigning champion Petter Solberg is leading the World RX drivers’ standings by 29 points ahead Johan Kristoffersson, while Jerome Grosset-Janin tops the Euro RX table. Ford Olsbergs MSE leads the Teams’ Championship in World RX, six points ahead of SDRX.
Germany RX is also third round of supporting S1600 category, which is a known development ground for Supercar drivers. A total of 20 S1600 entrants will go head-to-head at the Estering including last year’s winner and current series leader Janis Baumanis. In TouringCar category only 11 points separate the top eight drivers so we can predict that third round of this category championship will be very suspense.