The FIA World Rallycross Championship will have some big changes in the upcoming 2019 season.
The series has been through a troubled time during the last few weeks, with more and more of the 2018 competitors announcing their departure from the series. Today we had the Olsbergs MSE series from Sweden pulling out as well. They call it a sabbatical year from the World Championship, and expect to be back once the electric cars is forecast to be debuted in 2021.
That leaves us with PSRX Volkswagen Sweden, GC Kompetition, STARD, and GRX Taneco in the series. The EKS team is on the edge, after Audi Sport announced that they are pulling out of the series, and it’s still an open question if Sebastien Loeb Racing will return with their “unofficial” ORECA build Peugeot 208.
To have a healthy World Championship, there needs to be more than one car manufacturer posting money into the series, and currently it looks like only Volkswagen will be there as a works team. All over teams are private build cars, or pre-owned works cars, where the teams don’t have any marketing-Euros to put into the series.
Peugeot Sport recently announced that they are pulling out, due to too much uncertainty about the electric rule set, which originally was planned for 2020, but has been pushed back to 2021 at earliest.
So World RX is in crisis at the moment.
Despite all that, we had the 2019 schedule announced by IMG, which is the company behind the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
And there are quite a few changes here too, compared to what we have seen during the most resent years.
The season starts in Abu Dhabi, before Circuit de Catalunya, Spain takes Round 2, while Spa Francorchamps, Belgium will be the third Round, Silverstone, Great Britain will be the fourth Formula 1 track in a row, before we finally get onto some real Rallycross tracks in the shape of Hell, Norway and Höljes, Sweden. After the summer holiday, we will travel to Trois-Rivieres, Canada, before Loheac, France and Riga, Latvia finishes of the European season. COTA, USA and Cape Town, South Africa will round off the season.
We have lost Montalegre, Portugal and Estering, Germany from the schedule, which is a huge loss for the series. Estering delivered perhaps the best racing of the year, where the gloves really came off, resulting in a tough and close racing, that was a pleasure to watch for all the spectators.
The FIA World Rallycross Championship organizers really needs to pull some positive rabbits out of the hat, after a series of dark clouds has been covering it lately.
The schedule still needs to be approved by the World Motorsport Council – but the series want it to look like this:
Abu Dhabi – Yas Marina – 5/6 April
Spain – Barcelona – 27/28 April
Belgium – Spa-Francorchamps – 11/12 May
Great Britain – Silverstone – 25/26 May
Norway – Hell – 15/16 June
Sweden – Höljes – 6/7 July
Canada – Trois-Rivières – 3/4 August
France – Lohéac – 31 August/1 September
Latvia – Riga – 14/15 September
USA – Austin – 28/29 September
South Africa – Cape Town – 30 November/1 December