SWEDEN’S ‘MAGIC WEEKEND’ SET TO ELECTRIFY ON AND OFF-TRACK
Spectacular scenes are guaranteed at Höljes as Timmy Hansen aims to turn the tables on arch-rival Johan Kristoffersson.
Tens of thousands of fans are headed to Höljes for the third round of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship this weekend (1-2 July), with the electrifying action on-track set to be matched by the accompanying off-track fever.
Tucked away deep in the Värmland forest, the motorsport mecca of Höljes – which has been staging rallycross events for almost half a century – has traditionally been a happy hunting-ground for local heroes, with previous winners including Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen and Mattias Ekström.
Having triumphed in the opening two rounds of the season, Kristoffersson will once again be the favourite as he chases a sixth world championship crown. The Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS star currently holds a 13-point advantage over Finland’s Niclas Grönholm (CE Dealer Team by Volvo Construction Equipment) in the drivers’ classification.
Kristoffersson will face stiff opposition, however, not least from countryman Hansen (Hansen World RX Team), as the 2019 title-holder strives to kick-start his campaign following accidents that have uncharacteristically kept him out of the final in both rounds to-date.
“The season clearly hasn’t started too well for us and we’re not in the position we had hoped to be, but I’ve been in this business long enough to know that some days are good and some days are bad – that’s just how it is,” he reflects.
“We unquestionably took a step forward in terms of pace last time out in Norway. I spent most of the weekend stuck behind other drivers’ bumpers which meant I never got the chance to properly take the fight to Johan, but our individual sectors were really encouraging and I’m excited to see if we can carry that forward. There’s no championship objective at the moment, and I’m not in the mood to hold anything back – I’ll be going all-out to win. It’s time to send it!”
With the event universally known as the ‘Magic Weekend’, Hansen knows the entertainment won’t be limited to just the track, with fans already setting up camp in ‘Happy Street’, ready to party the night away once the racing ends each day.
“There’s a huge festival atmosphere and a great vibe,” reveals the 31-year-old, who triumphed at Höljes the last time World RX visited Värmland in 2021. “It’s one of the absolute highlights of the year; competing in front of so many people on home soil is just an incredible feeling that we don’t get anywhere else. After coming close on many occasions, to finally get the victory there last season felt amazing – and that’s definitely something I want to repeat this weekend.”
Kevin Hansen followed his older brother across the line for a one-two finish in 2021, and the Swedish squad is eager to replicate that result two years on. Grönholm has been a model of consistency so far this season – finishing third in Portugal and second in Norway – while having similarly advanced to the final on both occasions, CE Dealer Team stablemate Klara Andersson sits an impressive fourth in the standings as she prepares to make her maiden appearance at Höljes in World RX.
FIA World Rally Championship record man Sébastien Loeb – returning to the circuit for the first time since 2018 – is set to thrill fans behind the wheel of Special ONE Racing’s Lancia Delta Evo-e RX, and Timo Scheider demonstrated that he is swiftly settling back into the rallycross groove with ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport by reaching the rostrum in Hell.
All of the action from rallycross’ ‘Magic Weekend’ will be broadcast live on RX+. Monthly and annual subscriptions can be purchased here, while race weekend tickets are available to buy on the gate.
Entry lists and the full event timetable can be found here.