Round three of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy – World RX of Norway – boasts a truly international line-up with drivers from a variety of motorsport disciplines including F1, WRC, DTM and X Games. Amongst the stars competing in Norway are American Gymkhana hero Ken Block plus two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekstrom, who makes his World RX debut this weekend as part of the all-new EKS RX Team.
Currently leading the drivers’ standings and eager to secure a win on home turf is Ford Olsbergs MSE driver Andreas Bakkerud. “My win at Lydden felt like a dream and it’s incredible to be leading the Championship as I get ready to race at my home event,” explained the 22-year-old who was a spotter for former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jnr at X Games in Austin last weekend.
Another home favorite will be Norwegian star Petter “Hollywood” Solberg. “Winning means everything to me,” admitted Solberg who won the World RX season-opener in Portugal back in May. “It’s why I’m here and why I’m racing. We go to the race second in the championship, just three points down from [Andreas] Bakkerud. I want to come away at the top of the table again. That’s the aim… and there won’t be a happier Norwegian than me if we win at Hell.”
Joining the World RX for the first time will be Ken Block and his Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta. “I’ve been enjoying racing rallycross the last few years and I’ve been keeping an eye on the European circuits – they look like really fun tracks. I’ve also been curious about the level of competition and I’m looking forward to seeing how I stack up against the guys that are running in World RX.”
A brand new team will also shake up the World RX proceedings in Norway as Swedish DTM star Mattias Ekstrom will be joined by reigning Junior World Rally Champion Pontus Tidemand in the all-new EKS RX Team. Fielding two Audi S1 Supercars, the squad has been flat out preparing the cars for its debut on the world stage but team owner Ekstrom ensures that the wait will be worth it: “Quality is always the most important thing for me – I’d rather be five minutes late rather than rushing and compromising on quality. Our ultimate aim in World RX is to become World Champions. I have also never been to an FIA prize giving before so that would be pretty cool too!”
Adding to the star-studded line-up in Norway will be former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve who returns to his Albatec Racing-prepared Peugeot 208 Supercar after missing the previous round at Lydden Hill. Villeneuve will be joined in the two-man squad by team owner and multiple British Rallycross Championship event winner, Andy Scott.