Asia and South Africa added to new-look line-up, as iconic European venues return.
The FIA World Rallycross Championship will celebrate its tenth season by travelling to Africa and Asia in 2023, with the series’ freshly-unveiled calendar featuring iconic venues, an intriguing new addition and the return of some old favourites including the fabled birthplace of the sport.
The ten-round schedule was ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council today, and is set to please rallycross purists while appealing to new audiences, as World RX prepares to race full speed ahead into the second campaign of its exciting electric era.
As in 2022, the action will get underway at Hell in Norway in mid-June, before moving to arguably the discipline’s most famous circuit – Höljes in Sweden – for the legendary ‘Magic Weekend’ at the beginning of July, which will mark World RX’s 100th round.
Three weeks later, the championship will return to Britain for the first time since 2019, with a summer sojourn to Lydden Hill, where rallycross was born more than half-a-century ago. Classic Belgian track Mettet – a staple of the series’ early years – is next up, followed by ever-popular Portuguese circuit Montalegre, whose revised layout in 2022 generated some of the most spectacular racing of the season.
The final European stop on the schedule will be Germany’s Estering in September. The characterful track near Buxtehude just outside of Hamburg has – like Mettet – been absent from the calendar since 2018, and was the scene of one of the most memorable moments in World RX history, when Kevin Eriksson famously ‘sent it’ all the way around the outside and into the lead at the first corner on his way to victory in 2016.
Following the European leg of the season, the cars will be transported to Cape Town to do battle at Killarney International Raceway, in the shadow of Table Mountain. The last time the series set foot in South Africa, Timmy Hansen and Andreas Bakkerud thrilled fans with a sensational duel for the Drivers’ crown, which ended in contact and a dramatic dead-heat.
The campaign will conclude just over a month later at a yet-to-be-announced new venue in Asia, with details to follow.
Building upon its successful comeback last year, Nyirád in Hungary will again host the FIA European Rallycross Championship curtain-raiser with a standalone event in May. The full European schedule will be communicated in due course.
Arne Dirks, Executive Director, Rallycross Promoter GmbH, said:
“We are pleased to present the 2023 World RX calendar, which we believe represents the very best of rallycross and which has been the subject of a huge effort behind the scenes in recent months. It clearly looks slightly different to recent seasons, and we are delighted to finally be ‘spreading our wings’ and venturing outside of Europe again.
“Ever since taking over as promoter of this great championship, we have been committed to returning to Cape Town to showcase World RX in front of the enthusiastic South African fans, and we are hugely excited to be adding a new event in Asia to the line-up, which truly underscores the series’ World Championship credentials.
“At the same time, the re-introduction of three charismatic European venues in Lydden Hill, Mettet and Estering reflects our desire to celebrate rallycross’ rich heritage and traditions while embracing the sport’s electric future. Similarly, the large crowds seen at Hell, Höljes, Montalegre and Nyirád this year are testament to those circuits’ enduring appeal. We can’t wait to go racing!”
2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship Calendar
May 20-21 Euro RX1/RX3 Euro RX of Hungary, Nyirád
June 17-18 Round 1 World RX of Norway, Hell
July 1-2 Round 2 World RX of Sweden, Höljes
July 22-23 Round 3 World RX of United Kingdom, Lydden Hill * **
August 5-6 Round 4 World RX of Benelux, Mettet * **
August 26-27 Round 5 World RX of Portugal, Montalegre
September 9-10 Round 6 World RX of Germany, Estering * **
October 21-22 Rounds 7/8 World RX of South Africa, Cape Town **
November 25-26 Rounds 9/10 TBA, Asia **
* Subject to promoter agreement
** Subject to track homologation