The 2015 FIA European Rallycross Championships for Super1600 and TouringCar will be run over a more tightly focused group of events as the championship calendars are tailored to help the classes attract more competitors. Both Super1600 and TouringCar categories will continue to have their own FIA European Championships and will remain as supporting classes at selected FIA World Rallycross Championship events. The move to running TouringCar and Super1600 over fewer rounds has been made following consultation with competitors and was approved by the FIA Off-Road Commission at a meeting in Paris earlier this week.
The exact schedule of events for each category will be published at a later date but the outline plan is that Super1600 will have a championship of up to seven events and that TouringCar will comprise of a five-round championship. Each series will be geographically centred on those countries where the category currently has most participants or has seen high entry levels in the past.
World RX events will also continue to include the RX Lites Cup (an independent International Series where competitors compete in identical 310bhp, all-wheel-drive, rear-engined machinery). Events that are staged within Europe will feature at least two supporting categories selected from Super1600, TouringCar and RX Lites.
Super1600 and TouringCar have produced several drivers who have gone on to be successful in Supercar including reigning European Rallycross Champion Timur Timerzyanov who was the winner of Super1600 back in 2010. World RX event winner Andreas Bakkerud won the Super1600 title twice (2011 and 2012) and his current Ford Olsbergs MSE team-mate Reinis Nitiss was Super1600 champion in 2013. The 2012 TouringCar champion Anton Marklund and 2013 TouringCar title winner Derek Tohill are both World RX competitors this year at the wheel of a Supercar.
Martin Anayi, World RX Managing Director at IMG Motorsport, spoke of the benefits that the calendar amendments would bring: “TouringCar and Super1600 can both provide great action but each suffers from fluctuating entry levels. The feedback from competitors is that a more manageable programme of events is attractive to a wider group of drivers. We believe in these categories as the pathway for drivers to develop and delivering a consistently good level of competition is good for them and for race fans.”
Details of which events will make up each of the championships will be confirmed when the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar is published later this year.