A first day at Hell

This weekend (June 17-18) the second round of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship is taking place at Hell near Trondheim in Norway. In addition to this second round of the World championship also the opening round of the 2023 FIA RX2e Championship is taking place as well as the third rounds of the the RX1 and RX3 European championships.

The World RX weekend so far can be summarized with focus on one guy. Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo RX1e) was fastest in the Friday afternoon practice then again this morning in the official practice with winning the Superpole shoot out afterwards. Once the heats went on he continued in a same way by setting fastest times in the first and second qualification heat leading to the overnight lead.

Johan Kristoffersson (VW Polo RX1e) won it all on the first day of competition at Hell in Norway. (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

Interesting to see was the third place, behind Ole Christian Veiby (VW Polo RX1e), of Sébastien Loeb (Lancia Delta Evo-e RX) in the Superpole shoot out. Afterwards in his first heat race the Frenchman came in third again leading eventually to a fifth time overall. First heat race wins went to Kevin Hansen (Peugeot 208 RX1e) and of course Johan Kristoffersson. Afterwards in the second heat race wins went one more time to Kristoffersson and afterwards to Niclas Grönholm (PWR Hyundai i20 RX1e) who set a second time overall. In the result after two heats Kristoffersson has a solid lead over Kevin Hansen, Grönholm, Timmy Hansen (Peugeot 208 RX1e) and Veiby.

Race One of Heat Two in World RX at Hell in Norway. (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

In the FIA RX2e Championship 10 drivers entered for the opening round of the 2023 championship. Among them Belgian Viktor Vranckx (RX2e), who is returning to defend his title, as well as the numbers two and three of the 2022 championship, Isak Sjökvist (RX2e) and Nils Andersson (RX2e). Furthermore, of the 10 entries 4 of them are for female drivers with in random order Catie Munnings (RX2e), Cristina Gutiérrez (RX2e), Laia Sanz (RX2e) and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (RX2e). After three heats last years runner-up Sjökvist is going into the lead with fastest times in heat 1 and 2. Nils Andersson was fastest in the third heat and is second ahead of Viktor Vranckx, who recorded a DNF in heat 3, and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky.

RX2e action at Hell in Norway with Isak Sjökvist (RX2e), Viktor Vranckx (RX2e), Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (RX2e) and Cristina Gutiérrez (RX2e). (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

In the FIA European Rallycross Championship for RX1 cars three heats are already completed. Patrick O’Donovan (Peugeot 208) holds the lead after setting a fastest time in the second heat and two third fastest times in the first and third heat. Second and third overnight are Anton Marklund (Ford Fiesta Mk7) and Jānis Baumanis (Peugeot 208). Among the entries for the RX1 category also the one of triple FIA European Rallycross Champion in Division 1 and Supercar, Sverre Isachsen (Ford Fiesta). After three heats he is placed eight overall.

Patrick O’Donovan (Peugeot 208), sideways, is leading it after three heats. (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

The Euro RX3 category reaches its halfway point in the championship with this round at Hell. Nine cars were figuring on the start list with among others Volland Racing’s João Ribeiro (Audi A1) being absent. Nevertheless the Volland Racing Audi A1’s are still holding the first three places with one more qualifying heat to come. Nils Volland (Audi A1), three times fastest, is leading it from Espen Isaksætre (Audi A1) and the winner of the previous events Damian Litwinowicz (Audi A1).

Nils Volland (Audi A1) going into the lead. (Photo: © Johnny Loix)

On Sunday morning the racing action continues with the remaining qualifying heats, the semi-finals and the finals for all categories.


RX1e (after two heats): 1. Johan Kristoffersson (S), 100; 2. Kevin Hansen (S), 87; 3. Niclas Grönholm (FIN), 83; 4. Timmy Hansen (S), 82; 5. Ole Christian Veiby (N), 79; 6. Sébastien Loeb (F), 79; etc.

RX2e (after three heats): 1. Isak Sjökvist (S), 145; 2. Nils Andersson (S), 133; 3. Viktor Vranckx (B), 120; 4. Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (S), 119; 5. Catie Munnings (GB), 115; 6. Cristina Gutiérrez (E), 115; etc.

Euro RX1 (after three heats): 1. Patrick O’Donovan (IRL), 134; 2. Anton Marklund (S), 130; 3. Jānis Baumanis (LV), 123; 4. Máté Benyó (H), 120; 5. Tamás Kárai (H), 118; 6. Enzo Ide (B), 117; etc.

Euro RX3 (after three heats): 1. Nils Volland (D), 150; 2. Espen Isaksætre (N), 135; 3. Damian Litwinowicz (PL), 126; 4. Martin Kjær (N), 116; 5. Jens Hvaal (N), 116; 6. Zsolt Szíjj (H), 114; etc.