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FIA World Rallycross Championship - Round 1 - Portugal

MastaVonBlastaMastaVonBlasta Member, Drivers Team Principal
Hello all,

I've been looking forward to start of the World RX for some time now. The championship gained FIA World series status for 2014 and since then has attracted manufacturer backing and an interesting line up of drivers. With Codies seemingly having had visited some 2013 races and a research trip to Norway the chances are that rallycross will be present in the next DiRT game (maybe an official licence?)

Round 1 in Portugal has started yesterday and in 5 minutes time Eurosport 2 UK will show the semi-finals and final live! I think it's a really good time to start following this series as it's managed very well and offers great racing.

In general following Rallycross RX official twitter account is a good move: https://twitter.com/RallycrossRX

They also release good videos with previews, onboards and daily highlights:








Petter Solberg Twitter account is also worth following: 

He is also releasing highlight videos:




Results after qualifying heats:

Time for live TV coverage :)

Twitter: MastaVonBlasta ¬ Bobby K fan ¬ Next one will be the one.

Comments

  • tbtstttbtstt Member Champion

    I would LOVE for Codies to get the license to this! I too have been seriously looking forward to this years Championship and I was very pleased to see Solberg finally take his first rallycross win over the weekend.

    Not a brilliant start from Solberg in the final (perhaps a hint of caution after last years jump start in Portugal) but a clear win. Great drive from the Fords, especially Nitiss and good work from Pauwels to make the final.

    Not a brilliant weekend for the Hansen team, but at least they faired better than the Albatec Peugeots. From the little snippets they showed in the hour highlight program Villeneuve didn't look anywhere near competitive.

    "If In Doubt, Flat Out!"


  • MastaVonBlastaMastaVonBlasta Member, Drivers Team Principal
    edited May 2014
    tbtstt said:

    I would LOVE for Codies to get the license to this! I too have been seriously looking forward to this years Championship and I was very pleased to see Solberg finally take his first rallycross win over the weekend.

    Not a brilliant start from Solberg in the final (perhaps a hint of caution after last years jump start in Portugal) but a clear win. Great drive from the Fords, especially Nitiss and good work from Pauwels to make the final.

    Not a brilliant weekend for the Hansen team, but at least they faired better than the Albatec Peugeots. From the little snippets they showed in the hour highlight program Villeneuve didn't look anywhere near competitive.

    I think for a first event the Montalegre round turned out quite well. I was quite angry at the start of coverage, because commentary was missing! Luckily it came back once they were live for the semis.

    Petter's pace was hugely impressive all through the weekend. He completely dominated Sunday. His start in the final was rather interesting as once they got off the line he caught up! Wonder why that is? Better gearing, more torque or power? How could he catch up to the Ford next to him?

    I got an impression that Montalegre track is not the easiest one for overtaking. The gravel section has pretty much only one line and is very difficult to barge through. Then on the approach to the first hairpin covering the inside pretty much guarantees that the attacker won't get past.

    I also loved how enthusiastic the drivers were. The press conference with Petter and BabyBlue Bakkerud was good fun and it showed how hard Petter has worked for this.

    I wonder if the ratings were good for Eurosport on this as I hope this series will keep on growing.

    Hansen-Peugeot have good pace in their car - I think they will be strong contenders all year long. 

    Yeah Jacques V. has got a steep learning curve ahead of him. I was also disappointed with Liam Doran's team - while I'm not a fan of him being 'stoked' all the time I hoped that they'll put up a fight. Hopefully, they'll be in a better shape for Lydden Hill. Liam's got a Polish teammate Skorupski and I'm hoping he'll be in the mix too.

    There's one more Polish competitor and he's a bit of a joke. I think it's mostly down to his very out-dated Fiesta but still...

    Onto the next one!

    And just like you @tbtstt I really hope the next game will have an official licence for World RX
    Twitter: MastaVonBlasta ¬ Bobby K fan ¬ Next one will be the one.
  • MastaVonBlastaMastaVonBlasta Member, Drivers Team Principal
    Since I'm here I thought I'd post links to some videos.


    Here are Rallycross RX Sunday highlights




    And a video from the press conference with Top 3:

    Twitter: MastaVonBlasta ¬ Bobby K fan ¬ Next one will be the one.
  • tbtstttbtstt Member Champion
    tbtstt said:

    I would LOVE for Codies to get the license to this! I too have been seriously looking forward to this years Championship and I was very pleased to see Solberg finally take his first rallycross win over the weekend.

    Not a brilliant start from Solberg in the final (perhaps a hint of caution after last years jump start in Portugal) but a clear win. Great drive from the Fords, especially Nitiss and good work from Pauwels to make the final.

    Not a brilliant weekend for the Hansen team, but at least they faired better than the Albatec Peugeots. From the little snippets they showed in the hour highlight program Villeneuve didn't look anywhere near competitive.

    I think for a first event the Montalegre round turned out quite well. I was quite angry at the start of coverage, because commentary was missing! Luckily it came back once they were live for the semis.

    Petter's pace was hugely impressive all through the weekend. He completely dominated Sunday. His start in the final was rather interesting as once they got off the line he caught up! Wonder why that is? Better gearing, more torque or power? How could he catch up to the Ford next to him?

    I got an impression that Montalegre track is not the easiest one for overtaking. The gravel section has pretty much only one line and is very difficult to barge through. Then on the approach to the first hairpin covering the inside pretty much guarantees that the attacker won't get past.

    I also loved how enthusiastic the drivers were. The press conference with Petter and BabyBlue Bakkerud was good fun and it showed how hard Petter has worked for this.

    I wonder if the ratings were good for Eurosport on this as I hope this series will keep on growing.

    Hansen-Peugeot have good pace in their car - I think they will be strong contenders all year long. 

    Yeah Jacques V. has got a steep learning curve ahead of him. I was also disappointed with Liam Doran's team - while I'm not a fan of him being 'stoked' all the time I hoped that they'll put up a fight. Hopefully, they'll be in a better shape for Lydden Hill. Liam's got a Polish teammate Skorupski and I'm hoping he'll be in the mix too.

    There's one more Polish competitor and he's a bit of a joke. I think it's mostly down to his very out-dated Fiesta but still...

    Onto the next one!

    And just like you @tbtstt I really hope the next game will have an official licence for World RX

    I ended up watching the highlight programme immediately after the livestream (so I heard the full commentary), but I had read there were problems during the livestream. Fingers crossed they get that sorted for the rest of the coverage. The livestreams were really good last year, so they should be even better in 2014, not worse!

    I daresay Solbergs start was a combination of those factors, helped some very late braking! Solberg was holding the inside line and the Ford didn't really have enough of a lead to shut the door on Solberg. As an aside though Solbergs cars are arguably the most advanced in the paddock: he threw money at the car last year and has done more spending over the Winter, so they should be quick!

    Bakkerud is bonkers: he always looks happy! Part of the reason I'm such a big Solberg fan is that he is always enthusiastic.

    Villenueve looked well off the pace. Obviously the car issues weren't his fault but even so, when the car was working, his times were well off. Perhaps he'll fare better on the faster, less technical, circuits.

    The LD Motorsport situtation was a bit odd. They have done loads of testing, then both cars failed for heat 1 and 2? Very strange. I'm not a big fan of Liam, but he was fast last year and should be a front runner in 2014, so hopefully the cars will be sorted for next time out.

    Kristof Skorupski looked to be getting to be grips with the DS3 when he ran at Lydden earlier in the year, so he could be one to watch... when the car is working anyway!

    Ah, you mean Bohdan Ludwiczak? "Joke" is a bit harsh! :D The only problem with the bigger World Championship is that the financial divide between the bigger teams and privateers is rapidly increasing, so its harder for the privateers to be competitive. As I said though, Pauwels proved its still possible to be competitive and I hope the privateers continue to fight the bigger teams.

    Roll on Round 2 at Lydden: I shall be there! :)

    "If In Doubt, Flat Out!"


  • MastaVonBlastaMastaVonBlasta Member, Drivers Team Principal
    tbtstt said:

    I ended up watching the highlight programme immediately after the livestream (so I heard the full commentary), but I had read there were problems during the livestream. Fingers crossed they get that sorted for the rest of the coverage. The livestreams were really good last year, so they should be even better in 2014, not worse!

    I daresay Solbergs start was a combination of those factors, helped some very late braking! Solberg was holding the inside line and the Ford didn't really have enough of a lead to shut the door on Solberg. As an aside though Solbergs cars are arguably the most advanced in the paddock: he threw money at the car last year and has done more spending over the Winter, so they should be quick!

    Bakkerud is bonkers: he always looks happy! Part of the reason I'm such a big Solberg fan is that he is always enthusiastic.

    Villenueve looked well off the pace. Obviously the car issues weren't his fault but even so, when the car was working, his times were well off. Perhaps he'll fare better on the faster, less technical, circuits.

    The LD Motorsport situtation was a bit odd. They have done loads of testing, then both cars failed for heat 1 and 2? Very strange. I'm not a big fan of Liam, but he was fast last year and should be a front runner in 2014, so hopefully the cars will be sorted for next time out.

    Kristof Skorupski looked to be getting to be grips with the DS3 when he ran at Lydden earlier in the year, so he could be one to watch... when the car is working anyway!

    Ah, you mean Bohdan Ludwiczak? "Joke" is a bit harsh! :D The only problem with the bigger World Championship is that the financial divide between the bigger teams and privateers is rapidly increasing, so its harder for the privateers to be competitive. As I said though, Pauwels proved its still possible to be competitive and I hope the privateers continue to fight the bigger teams.

    Roll on Round 2 at Lydden: I shall be there! :)

    Something that caught my eye was Petter's rear wing. It looks very different to designs used by his team last year and certainly different to what LD Motorsport has on their DS3s.

    Derek Tohill, from what I remember, is driving Liam's last year's car and his wing resembles WRC car designs: 
    image
    image

    The wing on Petter's car seems to have undergone quite a bit of development:
    image

    image

    image


    In this gallery the differences between rear wings can be clearly noticed and Petter's team have more longitudinal winglets whem compared with their competition.

    From what I know from following some F1 tech guys, having such strakes may decrease overall downforce when going straight but they make the wing produce more consistent downforce when the car is in yaw, going sideways as Petter does.

    Also in one of the slow-mo shots I've noticed that PS 110% team cars have VERY flexible front bumpers which deflect when hitting a deep rut and come back to original shape once the contact is over. By doing that they'll keep on having the design bodywork shape for as long as possible = better airflow.

    If Petter's team did indeed take on rear wing development by themselves and perfected the engine package by making it reliable (not on Hvaal's car...) and powerful they are looking serious :)
    Twitter: MastaVonBlasta ¬ Bobby K fan ¬ Next one will be the one.
  • tbtstttbtstt Member Champion
     
    Derek Tohill, from what I remember, is driving Liam's last year's car and his wing resembles WRC car designs: 
    image
    image

    The wing on Petter's car seems to have undergone quite a bit of development:
    image

    image

    image


    In this gallery the differences between rear wings can be clearly noticed and Petter's team have more longitudinal winglets whem compared with their competition.

    From what I know from following some F1 tech guys, having such strakes may decrease overall downforce when going straight but they make the wing produce more consistent downforce when the car is in yaw, going sideways as Petter does.

    Also in one of the slow-mo shots I've noticed that PS 110% team cars have VERY flexible front bumpers which deflect when hitting a deep rut and come back to original shape once the contact is over. By doing that they'll keep on having the design bodywork shape for as long as possible = better airflow.

    If Petter's team did indeed take on rear wing development by themselves and perfected the engine package by making it reliable (not on Hvaal's car...) and powerful they are looking serious :)

    Derek Tohill is driving the ex-Andreas Bakkerud DS3, Kristof Skorupski is in the ex-Pat Doran DS3. As far as I know Liam is running a modified version of his 2013 car. There was talk of a fourth DS3, but neither it (nor a fourth driver) seems to have materialised. I suspect the departure of Bakkerud threw a spanner in the works for LD Motorsport.

    Petter was running that wing last year, this was taken in France mid-season:

    image

    I haven't got a clear picture of the wing in my photos from Round 1, but I think he had the same wing on for the entirety of 2013.

    It an interesting design though; it seems to take some influence from the Subaru/later WRCar wings (plus it looks cool! :D). Would be interesting to know the exact reason for the addition of the winglets; if it has some benefit for when the car is travelling sideways then it definately needs to be on Solbergs car! :D

    As far as I'm aware both PS RX cars are running the same engine. Petter was using Julian Godfrey engines in 2013, but he had a lot of problems; he actually left Sweden with minus Championship points last year as he had to change engine three times! (and it was -15 points every time they swapped the engine). He has switched to Pipo engines for 2014:

    image

    Block is the only other driver running a Pipo engine in a rallycross car. Like I said, no expense spared... ;)

    "If In Doubt, Flat Out!"


  • MastaVonBlastaMastaVonBlasta Member, Drivers Team Principal
    @tbtstt

    Remind me to stop trying to be clever on Rallycross with you around - you're a fountain of knowledge! :D Great spot with Petter's wing being the same design as last year - for a second I thought I spotted something revolutionary :P 

    I'm just getting into following RX so please bear with me :)

    I've re-watched some of the races from last weekend and in most of Petter's start he was not the first one off the line, but he was the first at the first corner. Could this be down to the Pipo engine?

    Do you know how taking part in WRX compares to WRC when it comes budgets? Are there any figures on cost of cars, running the team and entering events?
    Twitter: MastaVonBlasta ¬ Bobby K fan ¬ Next one will be the one.
  • tbtstttbtstt Member Champion
    edited May 2014
    @tbtstt

    Remind me to stop trying to be clever on Rallycross with you around - you're a fountain of knowledge! :D Great spot with Petter's wing being the same design as last year - for a second I thought I spotted something revolutionary :P 

    I'm just getting into following RX so please bear with me :)

    I've re-watched some of the races from last weekend and in most of Petter's start he was not the first one off the line, but he was the first at the first corner. Could this be down to the Pipo engine?

    Do you know how taking part in WRX compares to WRC when it comes budgets? Are there any figures on cost of cars, running the team and entering events?

    Ha, no worries @MastaVonBlasta! I am always trying to increase my knowledge on rallycross, so I always like reading peoples observations on the cars or drivers: chances are someone else will know something I don't or have spotted something I haven't seen! :)

    The Pipo engine is a possibility. Having said that the Ford's are running well developed Mountune engines, so they are not exactly slow! The way he pulled them in could be due to gearing or even the mapping of the engine rather than the way the engine is built; even though the turbo inlet size is restricted (and there are a lot of restrictions on the construction of the engines) it always amazes me how much engine mapping can be used alter the performance (and power delivery) of an engine.

    I don't know specific costs, but I do know that WRC is still more expensive (for now anyway). I read a couple of interviews with Henning Solberg earlier this year where he was talking about running either in either WRC or WRX. He directly stated in those interviews that the WRC rounds were more pricey. However, if the World Rallycross Championship continues to grow (and the front running teams continue to pull bigger sponsors) then the cost of competition is likely to rise further. Perhaps then the WRC will be the cheaper option...

    "If In Doubt, Flat Out!"


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