On 4 February, 1967, the discipline of rallycross was born at Lydden Hill. Following a six-year absence, this weekend (22-23 July) the FIA World Rallycross Championship returns to its spiritual home.
Tucked away in the ‘Garden of England’ in Kent, Lydden Hill initially featured on the World RX calendar from 2014 to 2017. Now, the circuit is preparing to host the championship’s latest-generation, 500kW (680bhp) all-electric beasts – capable of sprinting to 100km/h from a standing start in an eye-watering 1.9 seconds – for the very first time in Britain.
Johan Kristoffersson leads the charge, as he seeks to embellish his extraordinary CV with a sixth career crown. Three from three so far in 2023, the Swede – who competes for Volkswagen Dealerteam BAUHAUS – currently holds a 27-point margin over second-placed Niclas Grönholm.
Timmy Hansen – the driver who has pushed Kristofferson hardest over the past few years – will be fired-up to maintain his momentum off the back of his first podium finish of the campaign at Höljes earlier this month. Younger brother and Hansen World RX Team stablemate Kevin Hansen, meanwhile, has a particular affinity with Lydden Hill…
“It’s the home of rallycross and personally, I’ve had a lot of great memories there,”. “I essentially began my rallycross career at the track and won in both Suzuki Swifts and RX Lites, so for me, it’s great to be back.”revealed the 25-year-old
Since Hansen last raced at Lydden, there have been significant changes. Turn One is now banked and considerably wider than it used to be – encouraging more side-by-side battles and overtakes – and incorporates a jump on the exit, just after the merge with the all-new joker.
Three drivers with more recent experience of the circuit are CE Dealer Team duo Grönholm and Klara Andersson as well as Kristoffersson’s team-mate, Ole Christian Veiby. Andersson won on her Lydden Hill debut in an RX150 buggy in April as part of the British Rallycross Championship curtain-raiser.
Nine-time FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb spearheads the attack for Special ONE Racing in a Lancia Delta Evo-e RX, which pays homage to one of the most iconic cars in WRC history.
Also competing at Lydden is the FIA RX2e Championship, with Britain’s Catie Munnings aiming to fly the flag for the home nation in round three of the all-electric series’ 2023 campaign.
Entry lists and the full event timetable can be found here.