The inaugural RX2 on Ice winter series has today (27 October) announced that it will be supported in 2018 by the RX Academy on Ice and Speedcar Xtreme, as part of a ladder of opportunity designed to discover and nurture the next generation of rallycross talent.
RX2 on Ice – which will take in events in Sweden and Norway in February and March – is set to serve as the perfect curtain-raiser to the 2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires, whose calendar is due to be revealed next month.
The four-round RX2 on Ice championship will offer drivers a rare opportunity to gain competitive experience and mileage on low-grip surfaces during the traditional motor sport ‘off-season’, and the addition of the RX Academy on Ice and Speedcar Xtreme will allow the rallycross stars of tomorrow to learn the ropes while proving their potential in front of the RX2 team owners.
As many as 30 Supercar Lites cars are expected to swell the RX2 on Ice grid, with the capacity to accommodate ten RX Academy on Ice cars and 15 Speedcar Xtreme crosskarts – making it the biggest rallycross ice-racing series ever established.
“It is fantastic news to be adding the RX Academy on Ice and Speedcar Xtreme to the RX2 on Ice fold,” enthused Olsbergs MSE CEO Andreas Eriksson, the man behind the exciting new initiative. “We have already received tremendous interest in RX2 on Ice from drivers, teams, sponsors and television broadcasters, which is immensely encouraging and proves that we are taking the sport in the right direction – preparing it for the future.
“Scandinavia in the winter offers ideal conditions for ice-racing, and ice-racing offers ideal conditions for drivers to hone their skill behind the wheel and truly polish their car control. To now have a clear pathway of progression from Speedcar Xtreme up to RX2 makes it an even more attractive and cost-effective proposition – and the perfect environment for the future Petter Solbergs and Sébastien Loebs of this world to gain their rallycross spurs.”
The RX Academy on Ice – part of one of the sport’s leading driver development programmes – will welcome a field of identical Renault Clio RS RX race cars, with a €5,000 prize for the series champion. Expert mentoring and tuition is also included as part of the package.
“I’m very excited about the RX Academy becoming part of this new, interesting winter rallycross series,” said Head of the RX Academy, Jussi Pinomäki. “This proves that rallycross has a bright future in being able to compete all year round in different environments, but using the same cars.
“Driving on ice and snow is some of the best possible training conditions to learn car feeling and control, so being part of the RX2 on Ice series really follows the RX Academy’s key strategy of producing the world champions of the future. Having the RX Academy supporting the RX2 winter series gives a clear indication as to the career path for competitors.”
Speedcar Xtreme offers a perfect introduction to the world of rallycross competition, with its potent crosskarts producing 150bhp from a Suzuki GSX-R 750cc engine and weighing just 312kg – propelling them from 0-100km/h in a mere 3.3 seconds and on to an impressive top speed of 180km/h.
“We are delighted to be a part of the new RX2 on Ice family,” said Marko Jokinen, who runs Speedcar Xtreme. “Our crosskarts pack quite a punch and provide a great route into rallycross, enabling drivers to get to grips with this exciting sport. The calendar that has been put together will give competitors plenty of track time and experience of driving in extreme conditions, which is excellent for their development. We can’t wait to get started!”
2018 RX2 on Ice Calendar
February 3 Östersund, Sweden
February 10 Höljes, Sweden
February 25 Ål, Norway
March 3 Gol, Norway