Adrenaline, spectacle and fun. That, in three words, is rallycross, a spectacular mixture of gravel and track racing. Didn’t you know the RX class yet? Then that will soon change. “Rallycross is going to be really big”, predicts Guillaume De Ridder, one of the four Belgians in the RX class.
Forget Formula 1, rally and karting: “For spectators, rallycross is the best discipline in motorsport”, claims Guillaume De Ridder, active in the RXe2.
This was extensively demonstrated last weekend on the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, where the Belgian round of the World Rallycross World Championship took place. But what makes the sport so attractive?
Rallycross is run on mixed tracks, which are approximately 40 percent gravel and 60 percent asphalt. In addition, the course is spiced up with jumps and sharp turns.
“It’s very spectacular,” said De Ridder. “There are five cars on the front row. It’s really close racing, with collisions allowed up to a certain limit. The races are also very short: 4-6 laps of spectacle and fun combined.”
If you want adrenaline, rallycross is the right place for you.
The 16-year-old Kobe Pauwels is also completely devoted to rallycross. He does not yet have a driver’s license, but he is in 2nd place in the RX3 class. “If you want adrenaline, rallycross is the right place for you,” he says.
“The combination of asphalt and gravel makes rallycross just as exciting as Formula 1. It is very short, very intense and very intensive. It is great to tear around the track at 160 km/h and fight the others riders.”
With Enzo Ide, Belgium also has a representative in the queen class RX1. And then say that it is actually “a hobby that got out of hand” for the West Flemish.
But as a teammate of three-time world champion Johan Kristofferson, Ide is already learning a lot. “It’s great to be able to ride next to him,” he says.
“Rallycross is going to be really big”
In Scandinavia the rallycross drivers are big stars, in Belgium there is still work to be done on their popularity. “But rallycross is going to be really big”, Guillaume De Ridder knows. “It is a sport that can be portrayed very well.”
De Ridder, currently leader in the RXe2, deliberately took a step back to gain experience with electric racing cars in the second division. Because from 2022 they will also make the switch to electric racing in the RX1.
“I want to master the technology as quickly as possible,” he says. “I want to attract teams and constructors to invest in the sport. Because it’s really worth it.”
Watch the report of Sportweekend: