One of the arguably most spectacular motor-racing series worldwide is about to contest its season finale in Cape Town.
This weekend, the battle for the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX) title will be concluded in South Africa on the Killarney International Raceway. And once again, four Scandinavians hold the four positions at the top of the leader board:
- Timmy Hansen (SWE, Peugeot 208) - 187 points
- Andreas Bakkerud (NOR, Audi S1) - 186 points
- Kevin Hansen (SWE, Peugeot 208) - 179 points
- Niclas Grönholm (FIN, Hyundai i20) - 157 points
This means that Norway’s Rallycross specialist Andreas Bakkerud (28), who has been competing in the sport since he turned 15, is one of the title favourites. He came second in the 2009 Norwegian Championship before stepping up to the Super1600 European Championship in 2010 and going on to secure back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, Bakkerud advanced to the Supercar category and in the following years he won several events before switching to Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division team for 2016 – where he celebrated back-to-back wins in Norway, Sweden and Argentina to finish third in the championship, with his Ford Focus RS RX Supercar. After having driven for Block’s squad for two years, Bakkerud looked for a new challenge and signed a deal with Mattias Ekström’s Audi Sport supported EKS RX team and raced the team’s Audi S1, from that point in time. In the 2018 season, he secured five podiums and came third in the championship.
Following in the footsteps of Petter Solberg (2014, 2015), Mattias Ekström (2016) and Johan Kristoffersson (2017, 2018), the 2019 World Rallycross Champion also will be a Scandinavian.
The Audi S1 (WRX Supercar) raced by Bakkerud is run by the successful EKS Team that was founded by two-time DTM Champion (2004 and 2007) and 2016 World Rallycross Champion Mattias Ekström. Bakkerud and his team rely on the RAVENOL premium lubricants. The Audi S1 (WRX Supercar) is powered by a turbo charged two-litre in-line engine producing 580bhp (426kW) and a maximum torque of 700 that is lubricated by the RAVENOL RRS 5W-50 engine oil. This oil that has been designed for motor racing by dint of the USVO® technology and was optimised for delivering even in the most gruelling conditions the cars and drivers also have to cope with in the Rallycross sport. The special composition of the low and multi viscosity engine oil that is based on esters and poly-alpha-olefins makes for excellent viscosity properties accompanied by very good detergent and dispersive characteristics. The power is transferred by the permanent Quattro all-wheel-drive and in addition, the rear wheel drive can be disconnected by activating the hand brake. Also part of the drive train is the sequential six-speed gearbox lubricated by the RAVENOL Racing Gearoil. And don’t forget the brakes: the dual-circuit brake system benefits from the use of the high-performance brake fluid RAVENOL Racing Brake Fluid R325+. And in the permanently high punishment engines have to cope with in motor racing, the radiator-protection RAVENOL LGC-Protect C13 Concentrate protects the engine reliably against overheating while also representing a reliable and maintenance free anti-corrosion and anti-freeze agent. The radiator-protection concentrate that is added to the cooling system in appropriate doses is based on 1.2 ethanediol (monoethylene glycol) and a 20-percent addition of glycerine.
The World Championship that has been held by the FIA since 2014 is contested at circuits with differing track surfaces: tarmac on the one hand and dirt track on the other. Each event consists of several rounds. The weekends are kicked off by four qualifying levels and from the second qualifying stage, the starting order is determined by the time (not the position) a driver achieved in the previous round. The qualifying rounds are followed by two knock-out semi-finals and a final. Points are scored at three stages of the event: the top 16 after the qualifying heats score points starting from 16 for the best to one point for 16th place. The top 12 progress to two six-car semi-finals with the winner of each semi-final scoring six points and the sixth-placed one. And in the final, the winner is rewarded with eight points and the other five – in the following order – with five, four, three, two and one.
Please find the latest news to the season finale in South Africa at the WRX website