El FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX) has become the new target for manufacturers. Although they cannot have official teams, they can support squads that already compete in the contest. Such is the case of Peugeot with Team Hansen o Volkswagen with the PSRX from norwegian Petter Solberg, monarch of the category in 2014 and 2015.
For this season, the Solberg squad strengthened its link with VW through an agreement with Volkswagen R, the house of the most powerful and sporty production models of the German brand. The agreement includes the collaboration of Volkswagen Motorsport, which was responsible for the development of the new generation VW Polo R Supercar to be driven by Solberg himself and the Swede Johan Kristoffersson, current champion of the specialty.
The new 570 hp 4Motion vehicle was unveiled by the director of Volkswagen Motorsport, Sven Smeets, the PSRX team manager, Pernilla Solberg, and the CEO of Volkswagen R, Jost Capito.
“There is no doubt that this season promises to be very exciting. The rivals will do everything in their power to snatch the title from us ”, Smeets stated. “Obviously our goal is to provide Johan and Petter with a good car that will allow them to aim for the world title. I am sure that we will succeed and that the new partnership with Volkswagen R will make us even stronger ”.
? The new exterior makes this year's Polo R Supercar easy to distinguish from its predecessor. Compared to last year's car, the most important changes have been made to the front. Engine cooling, a particularly sensitive area in Rallycross racing, was redesigned and allows the vehicle to be much more efficient.
Another important aspect is the design of the new rear wing, which creates more downforce and allows a wide range of new tuning options. Work was also carried out on the development of all the elements under the hood with the aim of making it ideally equipped for this short, close and spectacular type of racing.
“Initial tests with the new Polo R Supercar have been very positive. The Volkswagen Motorsport Development Department has done a magnificent job. As a world champion, I obviously have a special pressure, but it doesn't worry me. On the contrary, I am looking forward to the spectacular and exciting duels with my opponents "Kristoffersson explained.
The World Rallycross Championship is contested throughout 12 races on three continents. The season kicks off in Barcelona on April 14 and 15, and ends with the grand finale in Cape Town (South Africa) on November 24 and 25.
This year the WRX circus will travel for the first time to the redesigned Silverstone circuit in Great Britain, while the race in Austin will mark the debut of the championship in the United States.
Currently, 15 cars and drivers are entered for the top category, the RX Supercar Series. Among them are big names in the motor world such as Solberg and Kristoffersson, the French Sébastien Loeb, nine times WRC champion; and the swedish Mattias Ekström, star of the DTM.