Mettet (B) – More and more media are discovering the power of World RX. Last month World Rally Blog attended at the Mettet mediaday exchanging words and thoughts with World RX director Martin Anayi. Now time has come to let the drivers speak leaving them nothing more than a steering wheel, throttle and the massive horsepower of their Supercars!
Belgians are known for being big rallyfans. Just like they hugely supported their proud football team, they every year go all over the world to support their rallydrivers. Remember the massive support for François Duval in Germany, but more recently the same for Thierry Neuville. Many reasons for Belgian WRC aces to enter in their local World RX round. First confirmed entry amongst those was François Duval in the Marklund Motorsport VW Polo, but there was also a lot excitement around Neuville. However top drivers always want the best circumstances to start in. The Duval entry being a good example of that. That however also resulted in the non-entry of Neuville. The privately entered Holte Hyundai simply still isn’t reliable enough yet and the project was stopped. Duval however seems to be confident about his entry. “The car seems to be performing well and I’ll be aiming for a good result” said Duval.
Duval, Ekstrom, Solberg and.. Tidemand
Over 30 supercars will be fighting the new Belgian Rallycross circuit. Amongst them names from many disciplines. Like there is Matthias Ekstrom. The well-known DTM driver had more sidesteps during his career. Like the Skoda Fabia WRC he entered during the WRC Sweden. In Rallycross he’s been more successful so far. He’s the last of a varied list of winners in the first World RX season entering his Audi S1. He’s not the only one with a rally career on his CV. François Duval will be the public’s local favourite being the only Belgian to have won a WRC event as an overall winner. Who did a couple more for Norway is Petter Solberg. The former WRC champ also already has a win on his World RX palmares. And then the most exiting WRC related name on the entry list; Pontus Tidemand. The 2013 Junior WRC Champion also found his way to World RX. But wait? Wasn’t he one of those promising drivers also showing his speed in a WRC? Yes he was. He did as good as 4th overall in a Fiesta WRC in Sweden before retiring. Now he found his way to the EKS Audi team. Maybe he’s the man to watch in Mettet?
Mettet: New circuit
Experience levels are being switched back to close to zero when it comes down to circuit knowledge. With 1030 metres in length, covering 69% tarmac and 31% gravel, the Jules Tacheny circuit is a very technical track. Drivers are looking forward to it. “It’s always interesting to go to a completely new country and a new track” according to Petter Solberg. “This one is new for everybody, it’s the first time World RX has been to the town of Mettet. I have seen some footage from the media day at the track and it looks like a really interesting one”, Solberg continues.
Nitiss leading the standings
Winning in Hell proved important to Latvian Reinis Nitiss, along with other strong performances. He’s the driver currently leading the standings in World RX driving his Ford Fiesta Supercar. Petter Solberg (Citroën DS3), winner of the first round, is second and Andreas Bakkerud (Ford Fiesta) is third. However the format of World RX makes it important to score all weekend long and the standings are very close. Mettet RX can change everything the other way around again! World Rally Blog will keep you posted during the weekend with news and pictures from the Belgian RX playground!
Want to be there? Tickets are still on sale so check http://www.mettetrx.com/evenement.cfm?nomid=740&evtid=8&lang=EN
The entry list in Supercars is here, and you can also see the rest of the entries by selecting items from the Driver Info menu.