Electrifying season start for Cooper in World RX and RX Lites
Only in its second year, the FIA World Rallycross Championship, supported by RX Lites at eight rounds, continues to grow in popularity and is an established form of motorsport that delivers thrilling racing on Cooper tires – as demonstrated at this year’s curtain raiser in Montalegre, Portugal (24 April).
Cooper Tire Europe, the official tire supplier to World RX since its inception, also supplies the full RX Lites grid with unrivalled rallycross product in 2015 allowing young talent, in this one-make series, to race on Cooper tires before stepping up to the top category.
Last weekend the 2015 World RX season kicked-off with a total of 52 cars including 21 Supercars armed with 600 brake horsepower going head-to-head in Portugal.
This year there are eight permanent two-car teams - up from six in 2014 - plus two full-time independent entries. The 18 permanent World RX drivers are also joined by a series of wildcard entrants and local drivers throughout the season.
Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson won the Bompiso Rallycross of Portugal, round one of World RX presented by Monster Energy, after a dominant display in his Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo RX Supercar. Reigning World RX Champion Petter Solberg clinched the runners-up spot and Timmy Hansen finished third for Team Peugeot-Hansen.
2014 RX Lites champion Kevin Eriksson picked up where he left off last season with four heat wins at Montalegre and a victory in the all-important final. Kevin Hansen – younger brother of Timmy - finished second after an impressive weekend of driving, while Joachim Hvaal took the third podium spot. Former European Rally Champion Krzysztof Holowczyc finished fifth on his rallycross debut.
World RX action continues in Hockenheim this weekend (01-03 May), with RX Lites making its next appearance at the UK round of the World RX Championship at Lydden Hill, on 22-24 May.
Matthew Vincent, Development Chemist – Motorsport, Cooper Tire Europe, said ahead of Germany:
"The dust has barely settled from building this new track and the impact it will have on the tires is unknown. We don't know if the tarmac will be abrasive or smooth; if the dirt is soft and fine or hard and sharp – these are all things we have to consider. However, these tires have been driven on Nascar Tracks in America, reached temperatures of 130C, taken the force of a one ton car landing a jump and much more. Working closely with IMG and the FIA we can help ensure there are no nasty surprises but it’s not until the cars hit the track that we will really know."
For more information on World RX, go to www.rallycrossrx.com, and to find out more about RX Lites visit www.rxlites.com.