The FIA World Rallycross Championship will keep the stability with their 2018 calendar, while also adding a bit of newness too.
BSI, the organizers behind the Rallycross series, announced early this year that Silverstone would take over the British round of the Championship, while recent news revealed COTA in USA towards the end of the season.
With two new events in the calendar, some events had to go, since the series still consist of 12 Rounds. The departure of Lydden Hill was already announced as part of the Silverstone announcement.
The second round in Germany at Hockenheim, is the other event that won’t happen in 2018. The organizers had hoped to be able to have full grand stands with DTM fans, since the event was part of the opening round of the German Touringcar Series at the same track. That hasn’t been the case, and the grand stands have been shockingly empty. The ticket prices have been too high for the exclusive Rallycross fans to go, plus there was too little Rallycross action, with only the World RX Supercars running, and neither of the RX2 or Super1600 support series present. For the DTM fans, there was plenty of other fan activity in the paddock area, with things like autograph sessions and likewise “keeping” the fans off the grand stands. On top of that, the World RX took about 2 hours of the running time on each of the days, since the track had to be put in place and removed again. All in all, it wasn’t a happy collaboration between the two series.
The 2018 season will start in Barcelona, followed by Portugal. After visits to Belgium, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Canada, France, Latvia, USA and Germany, the season will finish off in Cape Town in South Africa.
It is a big puzzle why Canada and USA isn’t back to back, since it’s very expensive for the teams to go across the Atlantic with all their material and personnel. If they had put the two events two weekends in a row, or perhaps with one weekend in between, could save everybody a lot on transport – something that other series like the FIA World Endurance Championship has a big focus at.
The FIA World Rallycross Champoinship is on a big upwards curve, with several manufacturers increasing their commitment into the show and the cars. But the series have to look out, since the smaller privateers like STARD and MJP Racing Team Austria, will have to find more and bigger sponsors to be able to follow the giant leaps happening at Volkswagen and Peugeot. Ford has already announced their departure after this season, and the EKS team has all their Audi S1 Rallycross cars for sale.
The EKS Team is hoping to be back next year with some new and updated material, but it’s not certain yet exactly how much Audi will support the team, since the VW/Audi group already have the World Champions in the shape of PSRX Volkswagen Sweden and Johan Kristoffersson. If the EKS team is going for a non-VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda etc brand, it is likely that Mattias Ekström won’t have a works contract with Audi Sport anymore.
But only time will tell.
The 2018 calendar looks like this:
- Spain – Barcelona – 14/15 April
- Portugal – Montalegre – 28/29 April
- Belgium – Mettet – 12/13 May
- Great Britain – Silverstone – 26/27 May
- Norway – Hell – 9/10 June
- Sweden – Höljes – 30 June/1 July
- Canada – Trois-Rivieres – 4/5 August
- France – Loheac – 1/2 September
- Latvia – Riga – 15/16 September
- USA – COTA – 29/30 September
- Germany – Estering – 13/14 October
- South Africa – Cape Town – 24/25 November