Today the list of permanent competitors for the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship has been released by the FIA.
We will see a total of 15 drivers contesting the full 2018 season made up of six teams and three independent drivers and will feature six different manufacturers. These drivers will be joined by up to ten round-by-round drivers at each of the 12 events.
Reigning champion, Johan Kristofferson will be returning to defend his driver’s title with PRSX Volkswagen Sweden. The Swede will once again join Petter Solberg, 2014 and 2015 World RX champion, in the Volkswagen Polo R’s where they will be looking to retain the team championship title.
Mattias Estrӧm, the 2016 champion, returns with the renamed EKS Audi Sport, having decided to commit to World RX in 2018 after previously splitting his time by competing in DTM. He will be joined by new teammate Andreas Bakkerud in the two Audi S1’s.
Team Peugeot Total are returning with Sébastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen, this time as a factory entry with two new Peugeot 208s. Both drivers looking for their first driver’s titles in World RX as well as regaining the team’s title they won in 2015.
GC Kompetition joins the championship for the first time. Owner of the French team, Guerlain Chicherit, will be competing alongside Jérôme Grossett-Janin in Renault Megane RS’ which have been developed by Prodrive and will be the first time that Renault will have been represented by a permanent World RX competitor.
After running an individual entry last season, GRX Taneco Team will be back with two Hyundai i20’s with Niclas Grӧnholm and Timur Timerzyanov behind the wheel.
After a year away, Olsbergs MSE are returning with drivers Kevin Eriksson and Robin Larsson in a pair of new Ford Fiestas.
The three individual entries do not collect team points but will be competing for the driver’s title. Grégoire Demoustier will be back to contest a full season in a new Peugeot 208 run by Sébastien Loeb Racing. Kevin Hansen will also be in a Peugeot 208 as a Team Peugeot Total individual entry. The Stard will be running a new Ford Fiesta for Janis Baumanis.
We got our first glimpses of these competitors this week at the first official test at Loheac track in France, hosts of round eight of the World RX championship in September, on Wednesday and Thursday. A lot of wet running was experienced over the two days, with all running well and making progress. However Kevin Hansen ended his test in a big crash on Thursday, but despite a damaged car he was ok.
The first round of the championship is World RX of Catalunya Barcelona on April 14-15.