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  • Press Release

" 'Standard in RX2 is Sky-High,' Says Returning De Ridder, 'and I've Eaced Agai

Guillaume De Ridder has his sights set on title glory as he returns to the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires in 2018 – but if he is to successfully clinch the coveted crown, he says he will need to defeat some of the best drivers he has ever competed against. De Ridder was the undisputed revelation of RX2’s inaugural season last year, finishing third in the overall standings for JC Raceteknik with a hat-trick of podium finishes to his credit – and all without having ever sat inside the cockpit of a rallycross car before. The rallying convert rapidly earned himself a reputation as a formidable competitor, and his impressive performance saw him snapped up by Swedish rallycrosspowerhouse Olsbergs MSE for the forthcoming campaign, where he is aiming to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, 2017 champion Cyril Raymond. “Last season far exceeded my expectations,” De Ridder acknowledged. “To come into the series – and not just any series, but one featuring the crème de la crème of young rallycross talent – and do as well as we did with no prior experience was amazing. “That being so, the goal for this year has to be to win races, and if we can win races consistently, there is no reason why we should not be able to put together a title challenge. I have a fantastic team behind me in OMSE and I can’t wait to get going.” To reach the top step, the Belgian will need to outperform some of the finest young rallycross drivers of the current generation – and he is quick to point out that the calibre of the 18-strong grid is sky-high, as is befitting of the official FIA WorldRallycross Championship feeder series. De Ridder – like many of today’s Formula 1 stars – spent his early career in karting, progressing through to the international stage. In fact, some of the drivers he raced against back then, he is working alongside now, in his role as a powertrain engineer for Renault Sport Formula One Team. The 25-year-old Zelos-managed ace reckons his RX2 rivals are every bit as competitive as anybody he has gone up against before. “It’s funny,” he mused. “I’m now working on the engines of three guys who I was racing with in karting – Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen and Stoffel Vandoorne. I seem to remember even beating them from time to time! If you look at Formula 2, I think I raced against more than half of the field there, too. It’s a small world... “I have a lot of happy memories from those days, and even though I drove for a small, privately-run team, we still achieved some very solid results. I would say, though, that the drivers I am competing against now in RX2 are just as good as those I raced against back in karting – so if I want to win this year, I’ll need to be at the absolute top of my game. Bring it on!” The 2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires will take in seven rounds across three continents in support of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, visiting Belgium, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Canada, France and South Africa. 2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires Calendar May 12/13 Mettet, Belgium May 26/27 Silverstone, Great Britain June 09/10 Hell, Norway June 30/July 01 Höljes, Sweden August 04/05 Trois-Rivières, Canada September 01/02 Lohéac, France November 24/25 Cape Town, South Africa

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