FERRATUM WORLD RX OF RĪGA-LATVIA SHAKEDOWN AND OFFICIAL PRESS CONFERENCE DONE IN BIĶERNIEKI
A day before the main events of the FIA World Rallycross Championship double-header round Ferratum World RX of Rīga-Latvia starts, on Friday, September 2, drivers participated in official pre-event press conference, where they shared their thoughts about the upcoming event. Press conference was attended by World Championship drivers Ole Christian Veiby and Niclas Grönholm, European Championship RX1 driver Anton Marklund, as well as both Latvian competitors – Jānis Baumanis (Euro RX1) and Roberts Vītols (RX2e).
Also Ferratum World RX of Rīga-Latvia competitors had their first chance to try new electric cars on Biķernieki circuit, doing the shakedown run. Shakedown was followed by official press conference, with drivers sharing their expectations before competition.
“Last year we won here with big gap, it was a great Sunday. This year we have Anton [Marklund], who always have good starts. We both tested here in May, I know his times, know my times, and they are pretty close, so we have to try to reach best result. Biķernieki circuit is a little bit different from other ones, it’s a bit longer with more corners, also the jumps are a bit different. You have to drive with mind, because, of you go on the outside, you lose tenths of second. Spectators really support here, they give me more horsepower. I don’t know any other circuit where on each lap there is so big applauses. They are really loud, it’s amazing that people enjoy this race,” Jānis Baumanis tells before the Ferratum World RX of Rīga-Latvia.
“Norway and all the other races are already forgotten. In every race I want to win and it’s no difference here. I’m really looking forward to it, I like this track. Organizers have resurfaced the gravel section, which looks a bit slippery, but, hopefully, we can enjoy this race. This track suits my driving style, and also the car is for this style,” says European Championship Euro RX1 leader Anton Marklund.
“Norway was a good race, also for the team, first and third places. Of course, when starting final from pole position, you want to win, but the first corner was very tight. Rallycross is completely different from rallying. There is a lot of things to learn, also driving together with other cars. This car suits my driving style, so I feel good about the upcoming weekend. Track felt a bit different since the last time here, some corners are a bit slippery, but, in overall, Biķernieki is very enjoyable circuit. I’m excited to be here, let’s hope for a good result,” tells Ole Christian Veiby, who switched back to rallycross this year after doing rally for some time.
“Norway wasn’t easy, we were missing speed. We had a good semi-final run, but that was it. We have done some work between the races, will see what we can do on Saturday and Sunday. I enjoy this track a lot, it should be better. Driving style in the electric cars is similar in some way, but you have to drive a bit different with these cars. It’s very easy to over-push. First corners are tight here, that is interesting. Especially if it’s raining, these first corners are very tricky, because there are a lot of rubber from other events, which makes it very slippery,” Niclas Grönhom is optimistic about the upcoming competition.
“I’m very happy to be here, in the RX2e Championship in my home. There has been some time since I started rallycross, and now we done all the lower steps, to finally start in the FIA RX2e Championship, let’s see how it will go. Today, walking around the track, I was talking to other drivers about the first World RX in Riga. I was there as a little kid, looking at the race and admiring these big drivers. So yesterday, when I was standing next to them, it was a special moment.
“I haven’t raced this year, the last time I was sitting behind the wheel was in May, when I was testing RX2e car in Höljes, but Biķernieki is completely different. I haven’t had any other practice before the race, but, I think, it will not be a problem. It’s hard to tell what to expect, from the test results, times were good, but other drivers have done a lot more kilometres than me, while I was focusing on other things off the sport this year. But I got this offer on Monday, and it is like a dream come true, so I have to take this opportunity,” talented Latvian driver Roberts Vītols hopes for a good result.
The FIA World Rallycross Championship doubleheader event Ferratum World RX of Rīga-Latvia in 2022 is possible thanks to the support provided by Latvian government, Ministry of Education and Science, Riga City Council, Education, Culture, and Sports Department of Riga City Council, title sponsor Ferratum, sponsor Ramirent and partner Road Traffic Safety Directorate.