Andreas Bakkerud says he is ‘pumped’ for an ‘epic’ Euro RX1 title showdown at Benelux World RX of Spa-Francorchamps, after confirming his participation in next weekend’s eagerly-anticipated season finale (9-10 October).
Bakkerud has been one of the undisputed pace-setters in the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 2021, finishing third on his debut for ESmotorsport at Höljes and dominating the final in round two at Lohéac until an engine issue dropped him to fourth.
The Norwegian looked primed to bounce back in Riga as he topped the timesheets in Q1 and secured third spot in the intermediate classification behind the wheel of his Škoda Fabia, but a coming-together with Peter Hedström at the start of the semi-final dashed his hopes of a first FIA European Rallycross Championship victory since he last contested the series back in 2013.
That means Bakkerud will enter the Belgian title-decider two points adrift of new championship leader Fabien Pailler at the summit of the standings – and determined to turn the tables at a circuit where he finished runner-up in World RX two years ago.
“I think every driver that raced in that first event at Spa is pumped to be back!” enthused the 29-year-old, who will again take Aleš Fučík’s place in the field. “It’s an awesome track and I’m going there to race for the Euro RX1 title in an epic battle with Fabien, Andréa [Dubourg] and Jānis [Baumanis] – it’s going to be a tough one!
“Our launches weren’t good enough or consistent enough in Riga, but the speed was definitely there and Spa offers some great overtaking opportunities so the starts aren’t quite as crucial. I feel we’ve taken some good steps forward with ESmotorsport this season, and we fully intend to follow the path we’ve begun...”