Nathan Heathcote is setting his sights high in the 2018 RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires, as he bids to follow in the wheeltracks of countryman Dan Rooke with front-running outfit Team Färén. Just like Rooke 12 months earlier, Heathcote sped to the MSA British Rallycross Championship crown last season at his first attempt, and just like Rooke, the young British ace will graduate to RX2 with Team Färén off the back of his title triumph. The 21-year-old made his debut in Supercar Lites machinery in RallyX on Ice earlier this year, reaching the semi-final stage in all three events he entered – and turning heads with his lightning-fast starts. Buoyed by that experience, he is now eager to prove his mettle on the international stage in the official feeder series to the high-profile FIA World Rallycross Championship. “I really can't wait to go racing in RX2,” Heathcote enthused. “RallyX on Ice was an awesome experience and great pre-season training for me – I learnt a massive amount about the Supercar Lites car and how it handles. “It's going to be fantastic racing around the world and being at events with some massive names in motorsport. I chose to compete in RX2 because it's the next step up for me on my route in aiming for the top, and it’s great to be in a one-make series against experienced drivers the same kind of age as me. “The biggest challenge will be catching up with knowledge of the circuits compared to other drivers who have raced at them before, but Dan [Rooke] did a great job last year and I will be pushing hard for a similar result. It has been brilliant working with Team Färén so far, and I already feel part of the family. “The first round in Belgium is going to be about learning the car and championship, but we had a solid couple of days’ testing at Silverstone to get dialled in before the season starts. We had good pace by the end, and I'm really looking forward to racing there in front of my home crowd at Speedmachine in May. Beyond that, my aim is for a top three championship finish; it won't be easy, but that’s the target I need to set if I want to reach the pinnacle.” Team Färén will expand from one car to two in 2018, and Team Principal Eric Färén has high hopes for his new protégé, who will join forces with Conner Martell as the squad pushes for podiums in the fiercely-contested series. “We’re really happy to have Nathan in the team this year,” he affirmed. “I think we have a strong line-up. Last year, we just ran one car and Dan did very well, but hopefully we will be even stronger this season with two drivers to share data and information. “Doing three ice races helped Nathan to get to grips with the Supercar Lites car; the level was high and he was unlucky not to get better results than he did. You have to be very smooth in the Lites car, so coming from a Supercar like he has means you have to change your style a bit, but I think he can do very well this year. It’s a bit of a childhood dream for me to have a team with two cars and good drivers. I’m really looking forward to the RX2 season.”
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