World Rallycross Championship: Round 6 at Holjes - preview
FIA World Rallycross Championship will be continued this weekend (3-5 July) at Holjes, Sweden. At the one of the most legendary venues of rallycross we will see the biggest number of drivers and cars so far in 2015 season. A total of 89 cars, including 35 Supercars, are on the entry list. It is also the first time this year that all supporting categories (TouringCar, S1600 and RX Lites) will race in the same weekend.
This year’s Holjes event is even more special as it marks the 40th anniversary of the first rallycross event at this village in the heart of the Varmland region. Sweden was the first of the Nordic countries to embrace rallycross and remains the only country to have hosted an event in the European/FIA Championship since it began back in 1973. Rallycross is one of the most popular sports in the Scandinavian countries and that’s one of the reasons of so many drivers who enters Holjes event and most of them are from Scandinavia.
Last year’s event was won by Swedish driver Mattias Ekstrom (EKS RX) and it was very emotional moment for him: “Last year was very special – to win with your own team, building the car together with the guys and doing it in only our third race. That victory was one of the best moments in my entire life and it always will be. I feel that Holjes is one of the tracks where my driving style and our car fits the best. We will keep our heads held high and promise a big show for our local fans this weekend.”
A total of 29 Swedish drivers will race on home turf including permanent World RX Supercar drivers Ekstrom, Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen, Robin Larsson, Anton Marklund, Alx Danielsson and PG Andersson. Ramona Karlsson will race in her VW Scirocco that she uses to race in the European Rallycross Championship, while Peter Hedstrom will also compete in a Skoda Fabia. Uncle and nephew duo Stig-Olov and Lukas Walfridson will pilot a pair of Renault Clio Supercars both prepared by Helmia Motorsport.
Finland’s Niclas Gronholm, son of double World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm, will make his Supercar debut at the wheel of an Olsbergs MSE built Ford Fiesta. Meanwhile, Ole Christian Veiby will compete in the Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo he uses to compete in Euro RX. Holjes will also mark the debut of the eagerly-anticipated Volkswagen Beetle which has been prepared by Eklund Motorsport and which will be driven by Norway’s Daniel Holten. Team manager Per Eklund who will also compete in Holjes, with his Saab 9-3 Supercar.
In Supercar championship standings the leader is reigning world champion Petter Solberg with 138 points, ahead Johan Kristoffersson (103) and Andreas Bakkerud (88). Followers are Timmy Hansen (79), Reinis Nitiss (77), Davy Jeanney (77), Toomas Heikkinen (63), Mattias Ekstrom (61)… In teams standings only nine points separating first Ford Olsbergs MSE and third Team Peugeot-Hansen, between them are SDRX team.
Sweden RX will form round four of this year’s supporting TouringCar and S1600 categories. Six Swedish drivers will compete on home soil including current series leader, Fredrik Salsten, and 16-year old Magda Andersson who finished second at the previous round in Germany. Holjes will also mark the return of the highly-competitive RX Lites Cup which sees talented Swedes Kevin Eriksson and Kevin Hansen tied at the top of the standings with 55 points apiece after three rounds.
Martin Anayi, World RX Managing Director for IMG, concluded: “Holjes is a magical event and it’s the rallycross event that everyone wants to win. The track is very special too, complete with a jump that can see the cars travel up to 40 metres in the air. With all four categories competing this weekend and with nearly 90 cars taking part, the competition is set to be extremely fierce. Last year we had 35,000 spectators visit over the weekend and after Loheac, it’s our most well-attended event of the season.”