ICE Cars Will Be Allowed In The World RX In 2024

December 13, 2023Joe Moore
World RX

Earlier this week the World RX announced ICE cars will be allowed back in the championship. 

A Welcomed Return 

After two years of fully electric competition, the World RX will allow ICE (internal combustion engine) cars back in the championship. This comes after the 2023 season was stalled after a fire was caused by the battery units at Lydden Hill. The only catch we know of so far is the ICE cars will have to run on sustainable fuels. However, it’s pretty safe to assume there will also be some other modifications to the cars to put them more in line with the electric cars. It’ll be interesting to see how the electric cars compare to the ICE cars, and how the FIA and World RX handle it. 

Entry Caps And Other Changes 

The entry limit for a World RX event next season will be set at 16. This could change in 2025, however, it’s unlikely the limit will be reached much in 2024. Along with an entry limit, there have been some other changes. Namely to do with Superpole. For 2024 the Superpole has been scrapped. Now drivers will start the heats in a pre-determined order. The main reason for this is to help maintain track position. Along with the scrapping of Superpole, the points structure has been changed. Now instead of drivers battling for the fastest overall time at the end of the four heats. They will instead be awarded points for every single race. That includes all four heats, semifinals and finals. 

A U-Turn

The FIA and World RX promoter have seemed to make a bit of a U-turn. As just two years after going all-electric, they are welcoming back ICE cars. Why? The exact reason is unknown. However, it’s safe to assume what the reason is. The likeliest answer is because the World RX wasn’t doing well. Not only with fans but also with teams. It could also be seen as a safe net for the World RX in case something like the Lydden Hill incident happens again. Fans will now get to hear the sound of an engine roaring around a World RX track again. While seeing more drivers compete for the championship. 

Earlier this week ES Motorsport revealed the car the team will use for the 2024 World RX season. 

The Car

ES Motorsport will contest the 2024 World RX season in a brand new Sköda Fabia RX1e. The team used a chassis from a brand new Sköda Fabia R5 to build the RX1e version. The new car will be fully electric much like the Volkswagen Polo’s used by Kristoffersson motorsports, or the Peugeot 208’s used by the Hansen brothers. 

A History In The World RX 

ES Motorsport is no stranger to the World RX. Having had drivers like Reinis Nitiss, Kevin Abbring and Rokos Baciuska drive for the team. ES Motorsport also has a championship under their belt. Although it’s not a World RX championship. Instead, they have a championship in the European RX support series. Andreas Bakkerud won the 2021 ERX championship for the team. 

What To Expect 

ES Motorsport will be the newest addition to the World RX paddock. However, their Sköda Fabia RX1e is expected to be a championship contender by the end of the season. It would come as a shock if the car podiums in its first event. As there will still likely be some issues with the car. As the best test for any racecar is using it in an actual race. You can take the car around a track a dozen times, but nothing compares to the things you learn after one lap of true competition. The last team to join the World RX paddock was Special One Racing. Special One Racing competed in the final round of the 2022 World RX season for development on their Lancia Delta RX1e. Unfortunately for Special One Racing their run in the World RX was cut short after a fire at Lydden Hill ended their season. Nevertheless, ES Motorsport will have some kinks to air out at the first event of the 2024 World RX season. 

The second day of the World RX of Hong Kong has come to an end. Johan Kristoffersson took home the final win of the season at the event. 

Superpole 

Kevin Hansen topped the first Superpole of the World RX Of Hong Kong. Posting a time 0.090 seconds faster than champion Johan Kristoffersson. Klara Andersson finished third fastest, 0.528 seconds slower than Kristoffersson. Patrick O’Donovan set the fourth fastest time, 2.274 seconds slower than Andersson. Timo Scheider rounded out the top five, finishing 4.271 seconds slower than O’Donovan. 

Heat One

Kevin Hansen also topped the first heat of the day. Setting a time 0.069 seconds faster than Niclas Grönholm to win the heat. Johan Kristoffersson finished third fastest, 0.324 seconds slower than Grönholm. Timmy Hansen posted the fourth fastest time, 0.265 seconds slower than Kristoffersson. Ole Christian Veiby rounded out the top five, 2.077 seconds slower than Timmy Hansen. 

Heat Two

Johan Kristoffersson took the win on the second heat and his first heat win of the weekend. Kristoffersson would post a time 1.780 seconds faster than Niclas Grönholm to take the win. Timmy Hansen finished third fastest, 1.246 seconds slower than Grönholm. Patrick O’Donovan set the fourth fastest time, 0.258 seconds slower than Hansen. Ole Christian Veiby once again rounded out the top five, finishing 0.979 seconds slower than O’Donovan. 

Heat Three

Klara Andersson topped the final heat of the World RX Of Hong Kong. Setting a time 1.768 seconds faster than Ole Christian Veiby. Johan Kristoffersson finished third fastest, 0.070 seconds slower than Veiby. Timo Scheider posted the fourth fastest time, 0.461 seconds slower than Kristoffersson. Kevin Hansen rounded out the top five, 0.593 seconds slower than Scheider. 

Semifinal One

Johan Kristoffersson took the win in the first semifinal. Posting a time 0.512 seconds faster than Timmy Hansen. Klara Andersson finished third fastest, 1.368 seconds slower than Hansen. 

Finals

Johan Kristoffersson took home the final win of the season. Posting a time 3.641 seconds faster than Ole Christian Veiby. Patrick O’Donovon finished third fastest, 0.958 seconds slower than Veiby. 

World RX Of Hong Kong Saturday Recap

The first day of the World RX Of Hong Kong has come to an end. Kevin Hansen claimed his first-round win of the season on the day. 

Heat One 

Kevin Hansen topped the first heat of the event. Setting a time 0.796 seconds faster than Johan Kristoffersson. Klara Andersson finished third fastest, 1.697 seconds slower than Kristoffersson. Niclas Grönholm posted the fourth fastest time 1.741 seconds slower than Andersson. Mikaela Åhlin Kottulisnky rounded out the top five, finishing 0.786 seconds slower than Grönholm. 

Heat Two

Niclas Grönholm took home the win on the second heat of the day. Posting a time 0.255 seconds faster than Johan Kristoffersson. Kevin Hansen finished third fastest, 4.084 seconds slower than Kristoffersson. Ole Christian Veiby set the fourth fastest time, 1.352 seconds slower than Hansen. Timmy Hansen rounded out the top five on the heat, finishing 1.629 seconds slower than Veiby. 

Semifinal One

Kevin Hansen topped the first semifinal group. Setting a time 2.606 seconds faster than Johan Kristoffersson. Timo Scheider finished third fastest, 1.155 seconds slower than Kristoffersson. 

Semifinal Two

Niclas Grönholm took home the win in the second semi-final. Posting a time 1.137 seconds faster than Ole Christian Veiby. Klara Andersson rounded out the top three, finishing 3.020 seconds slower than Veiby. 

Finals

Kevin Hansen claimed the win in the finals to secure his first-round win of the season and win the World RX Of Hong Kong. Setting a time 2.290 seconds faster than Niclas Grönholm to take the win. Timo Scheider finished third, 1.186 seconds slower than Grönholm. 

A Shortened Schedule

Superpole and the third heat race were canceled due to construction. The construction in question was unexpected and caused a delay in the start of the round. Leading to the cancellation of both Superpole and heat three as a result. This really did not affect the running of the event, just made for less racing overall. 

Johan Kristoffersson has officially clinched the 2023 World RX. Winning the sixth championship of his career. 

Been Here Before

Johan Kristoffersson has won the 2023 World RX championship. Making this his sixth championship in seven years. The only time Kristoffersson didn’t win the championship in those seven years was 2019. When Timmy Hansen won the championship. Kristoffersson was absent from the sport. Making this Kristoffersson’s sixth championship in the last six seasons he’s competed in. This time round Kristoffersson has secured the championship with one round remaining. Kristoffersson will likely take the final round of the season somewhat easy as he has nothing to push for. 

A Near Perfect Season For Kristoffersson

Johan Kristoffersson was head and shoulders ahead of his competitors to start the season. However, everything changed before round four. As a fire involving the Special One racing team brought the season to a halt. The season would continue however drivers wouldn’t use their WRX1e cars that they started the season in. Instead, they would drive the ZERIOD X1, the car used in RX2e. This took every advantage Kristoffersson’s Volkswagen gave him away. As now everyone would be in the same exact car. Kristoffersson started what would become round four how you’d expect him to start. As he took home the win, despite losing his first Superpole in over a year to Kevin Hansen. Round five saw Kristoffersson’s win streak end. As Timo Scheider took home the event win. 

A Battle For Second

With the championship out of the question, the focus for drivers now turns to a battle for second place. Just 13 points separate Kevin Hansen from Timo Scheider and Niclas Grönholm heading into the final round of the season. Sure second isn’t necessarily something people clamor over, but it makes for an interesting topic to have in mind while watching. It’s also something that will likely be kept in the back of drivers minds all day during the event. As at the end of the day, a top three finish in a championship isn’t bad. 

The 2023 World RX season continues this weekend with the World RX Of Hong Kong. Find out all you need to know below.

Championship Standings 

Johan Kristoffersson retained the championship lead after the World RX Of South Africa. Despite only winning one round of the double header. Kevin Hansen moved up to second from third after the event. Hansen now sits 36 points back from Kristoffersson. Timo Scheider also moved up in the championship standings. Moving up to third, 3 points behind Hansen. Niclas Grönholm dropped from second to fourth last time out. Now sitting 5 points behind Scheider. 2019 champion Timmy Hansen rounds out the championship top five heading into the final two rounds of the season. With Timmy Hansen sitting 4 seconds behind Grönholm. 

The Season Finale

The World RX Of Hong Kong will wrap up the 2023 World RX season. The 2023 championship still has yet to be won. Johan Kristoffersson is the favorite to win his sixth championship this weekend. However, anything can happen. All it would take is one unfavorable result from Kristoffersson for Kevin Hansen to have a strong chance at his first. With all drivers once again piloting the ZERIOD X1, there is little room for error. As generally there’s only a couple tenths of a second to gain on opposing drivers. 

Another Double Header 

Due to the three missed rounds for the RX1e class drivers, the World RX Of Hong Kong has been made a double header. As a result of the schedule change, the event will use a different format than normal weekends. As instead of four heat races there will only be three and they will all take place on the same day. Everything else stays the same, it’s just all in one 6 or 7-hour long day. There will also be support classes racing during the time the RX2e cars are recharging for the next round of racing. 

Earlier this week it was announced that Patrick O’Donovan will be making his World RX debut in Hong Kong next month. 

O’Donovan’s 2023 Euro RX Season

Patrick O’Donovan competed in the European RX for the 2023 season. Driving an ex-Hansen World Rallycross Team Peugeot 208, O’Donovan took home 3rd in his first event with the car. In Portugal and Norway O’Donovan finished fifth. In just his fourth event in the car, O’Donovan claimed his first and only Euro RX win to date. At the event in Belgium, he finished 8th overall. O’Donovan capped off the season with a 2nd overall in Germany. In his first full Euro RX season O’Donovan finished third in the championship, 10 points behind Jänis Baumanis. 

A History With The ZEROID X1

Patrick O’Donovan will come into the World RX as one of the most experienced drivers in the ZEROID X1. Having spent two seasons in the car. In 2021 O’Donovan made his debut in the ZEROID X1. He started off the season with a third-place finish in Barcelona. From there he had mixed results. Finishing below top five at the rest of the events in 2021 on the way to finishing third in the RX2e championship. Tied for third with Pablo Suárez. In 2022 things started much of the same for the Brit, as he once again failed to finish top five at the first two events of the season. However, things would turn around in rounds three and four. With O’Donovan taking home the win at both events. He would end of the 2022 season finishing 7th in Catalunya to finish fourth in the championship, 5 points behind Nils Andersson. 

Joining A Legendary Team

For the World RX of Hong Kong O’Donovan will suit up alongside Kevin and Timmy Hansen for the Hansen World Rallycross Team. This is a big chance for O’Donovan who had already been on the Hansen’s radar as a potential future star of the World RX. The event will be a proving ground for O’Donovan to see how he matches up against some established drivers in equal machinery. Kevin Hansen is also probably hoping O’Donovan can use some of his past experience to help him beat Johan Kristoffersson to take home his first World RX championship. With Timmy Hansen out of the championship hunt. It’s likely he to will help his brother chase glory in Hong Kong. 

The 2023 World RX Championship will be decided in Hong Kong next month. Who can win the championship and how? Find out below.

Johan Kristoffersson 

Johan Kristoffersson has pretty much already won his 6th World RX championship. As the reigning champion only needs the following to win the championship next month. 

  • 11 points total to beat Kevin Hansen.
  • 8 points total to beat Timo Scheider. 
  • 3 points total to beat Niclas Grönholm. 

Kevin Hansen 

Kevin Hansen is Kristoffersson’s only real challenger heading into the final two rounds in Hong Kong. Sure 36 points separate the two drivers. However, Hansen is the driver Kristoffersson has to score the most points against to win the championship. How can Hansen take home his first championship and stop Kristoffersson’s domination? 

This one is going to require a bit more typing than Kristoffersson’s did. As on paper Kevin Hansen has to score 37 more total points than Kristoffersson in Hong Kong to win the championship m. However, that’s solely assuming Kristoffersson scores 0 points at both runnings of the event. Which is the only way Hansen can win the championship. As normally there’d be a bit of math involved in this. However, with only 8 or 9 competitors at events, there’s no other option for Hansen. As normally there’d be the hope that Kristoffersson finishes lower than 11th at both rounds to score 10 points for the event. Which would tie Kristoffersson and Hansen to end the season at 117 points meaning Kristoffersson still wins on countback. This means the highest Kristoffersson could finish is 11th and 12th for 9 points. As previously mentioned this is impossible as 8 is less than the needed 12 drivers to make that possible. 

Timo Scheider 

Much like Kevin Hansen, Scheider can only win the World RX championship if Kristoffersson scores 0 points at both events. Scheider must also score 4 or more points combined than Hansen over the weekend. As if Scheider doesn’t close the gap to Hansen he won’t win the championship. Unless a miracle happens Scheider won’t win the championship. 

Niclas Grönholm

Realistically Grönholm is out of the championship running much like Hansen and Scheider. As Kristoffersson only needs to score 3 points over the weekend to end Grönholm’s slim championship hopes. Just for fun, I’ll tell you how Grönholm can win the championship next month. Starting at the same point as Hansen and Scheider did, Kristoffersson must score 0 points in Hong Kong. From that point, Grönholm must score 6 more points than Scheider and 9 more points than Hansen. 

The World RX Of South Africa has come to an end. Johan Kristoffersson and Timo Scheider both took home wins at the doubleheader event. 

Round 7, Kristoffersson Wins

Kevin Hansen got off to a strong start, beating Johan Kristoffersson in Superpole. By doing this Kevin Hansen became the first driver to beat Kristoffersson in Superpole since HELP. Kristoffersson was right back to his usual self during the heats. With the 5-time champion taking home the first heat win of the weekend. Timo Scheider and Timmy Hansen would win the other two heats. Johan Kristoffersson and Ole Christian Veiby took home wins in their respective Semi-Finals to create a Kristoffersson Motorsports front-row lockout in the finals. Kristoffersson as expected took home the win, while Kevin Hansen finished second and Timo Scheider finished third. 

Round 8, Scheider Dominates

Johan Kristoffersson was back atop Superpole for round 8. However, that would be about the only bright spot for Kristoffersson on the day. Kristoffersson did manage to win the first heat of the day once again. From this point on it was pure domination from Timo Scheider. As Scheider took home the win on both the second and third heats. Scheider and Kristoffersson both won their respective Semi-finals. With Scheider in pole position, Kristoffersson’s undefeated streak looked like it was going to end. Which is exactly what would happen. Timo Scheider took home his first-ever World RX win at the event. Kevin Hansen finished second and Johan Kristoffersson finished third. 

Not Grönholm’s Weekend 

Niclas Grönholm went into the World RX Of South Africa as arguably Johan Kristoffersson’s strongest competitor. However, Grönholm didn’t have the greatest weekend in South Africa. With the Finnish driver placing 5th on Saturday and 6th on Sunday. In doing this Grönholm dropped from second in the championship to fourth. Grönholm’s chances for the championship are pretty much over unless he hits a streak of luck in Hong Kong and Kristoffersson hits a streak of bad luck. 

Championship Rundown

Despite losing his first race of the season, and his first in over a year at the World RX Of South Africa, Johan Kristoffersson remains first in the championship. With the 5-time champion now sitting 36 points ahead of Kevin Hansen heading into the season-ending doubleheader in Hong Kong. Timo Scheider took home the first World RX win of his career to move up to third in the championship. Scheider now sits just 3 points behind Hansen. Niclas Grönholm moves down to fourth as previously mentioned, now sitting 5 points behind Scheider. Timmy Hansen rounds out the top five in the championship, sitting 4 points behind Grönholm. 

Round 7 Recap

Round 8 Recap

The second day of the World RX Of South Africa has come to an end. Timo Scheider took home the win for his first of the season. 

Superpole 

Johan Kristoffersson was back at the top of the Superpole timesheet today. With Kristoffersson setting a time 0.558 seconds faster than yesterday’s Superpole winner Kevin Hansen. Timmy Hansen finished with the third fastest time, 0.317 seconds slower than his brother Kevin. 

Heat One

Johan Kristoffersson also topped the first heat of the second day of the World RX Of South Africa. Posting a time 0.720 seconds faster than Kevin Hansen to take the heat win. Ole Christian Veiby finished third fastest, 2.431 seconds slower than Hansen. Klara Andersson set the fourth fastest time, 2.288 seconds slower than Veiby. Timo Scheider rounded out the top five on the heat, finishing 4.903 seconds slower than Andersson. 

Heat Two

Timo Scheider took home the win on the second heat of the day. Scheider would set a time 0.312 seconds faster than Timmy Hansen. Johan Kristoffersson finished third fastest, 0.380 seconds slower than Hansen. Niclas Grönholm posted the fourth fastest time on the stage, 2.321 seconds slower than Kristoffersson. Klara Andersson rounded out the top five times, finishing 2.938 seconds slower than her teammate Niclas Grönholm. 

Heat Two

Timo Scheider also topped the final heat of the second day of the World RX Of South Africa. Scheider posted a time 0.456 seconds faster than Johan Kristoffersson this time round. Kevin Hansen finished third fastest 0.156 seconds slower than Kristoffersson. Timmy Hansen set the fourth fastest time, 0.689 seconds slower than his brother Kevin. Niclas Grönholm rounded out the top five on the heat, 0.430 seconds slower than Timmy Hansen. 

Semi-Final One

Timo Scheider, Kevin Hansen, Niclas Grönholm and Ole Christian Veiby battled in the first semi-final. Scheider continued his win streak and took home the semi-final win. Setting a time 0.313 seconds faster than Kevin Hansen. Niclas Grönholm finished third fastest, 1.703 seconds slower than Hansen. 

Semi-Final Two

Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen, Klara Andersson and René Münnich battled in the second semi-final. Kristoffersson took home the second semi-final win. Posting a time 1.728 seconds faster than Timmy Hansen. Klara Andersson finished third fastest, 5.320 seconds slower than Hansen. 

World RX Of South Africa Final 

Timo Scheider, Johan Kristoffersson, Klara Andersson, Niclas Grönholm, Kevin and Timmy Hansen battled in the World RX Of South Africa Sunday final. Timo Scheider took home the final win for his first World RX win. Scheider would post a time 1.021 seconds faster than Kevin Hansen to take home the win. Johan Kristoffersson finished third fastest, 0.323 seconds slower than Hansen.