Trio of fast females bolster stellar Spa grid in RX2e !

The entry list for the penultimate round of the inaugural FIA RX2e Championship campaign at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend (9-10 October) has been officially revealed, with a trio of fast females set to take on the series regulars at the iconic Ardennes circuit.

The entry list for the penultimate round of the inaugural FIA RX2e Championship campaign at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend (9-10 October) has been officially revealed, with a trio of fast females set to take on the series regulars at the iconic Ardennes circuit.

Guillaume De Ridder leads the way arriving at his home track, holding a seven-point advantage over fellow former RX2 Series front-runner Jesse Kallio at the summit of the standings. The pair were inseparable last time out at Lohéac, taking the chequered flag barely six tenths-of-a-second apart in the final, and their season-long duel is set to continue next weekend.

British teenager Patrick O’Donovan – the youngest competitor in the field at just 17 still – and Spain’s Pablo Suárez will be looking to build upon progress made so far, while Swedish star Isak Sjökvist and American ace Conner Martell have already demonstrated in previous events that they can be serious contenders, the former reaching the rostrum first time out at Höljes and the latter unleashing an eye-catching turn-of-speed at Lohéac.

Joining them on the grid at Spa will be newcomers Filip Thorén, Klara Andersson, Christine Giampaoli Zonca and Laia Sanz. A member of Sweden’s Junior National Team, Andersson began karting at the age of seven – winning multiple regional championships – before switching to rallycross in 2018. The FIA Rally Star ambassador – now aged 21 – finished runner-up in the Junior Swedish Rallycross Championship in 2020, going on to clinch the Swedish Rallycross Championship crown this year behind the wheel of a BMW 120.

“It’s amazing to be able to drive the RX2e car at Spa, and to get a perception of what might be the next step in my career,” Andersson enthused. “RX2e seems like a fun new series that offers an insight into the direction in which the sport is heading. I’m beyond excited.

“Rallycross is my passion in life, and if I can do what I love in a more sustainable way then I’m all for it. I’ve dreamt about taking part in an FIA World Rallycross Championship event since I was a little girl riding my bike in the paddock, and to make that dream come true at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit is the opportunity of a lifetime!”

Giampaoli Zonca – more commonly abbreviated to just ‘GZ’ – is best-known for competing in Extreme E, and she arrives with a wealth of experience gleaned from the FIA World Rally Championship, Mexico’s famous Baja 1000 race and the Spanish Off-Road Championship, which she currently leads.

Whilst Spa will mark her rallycross bow, the 27-year-old Italian-Canary driver did test the RX2e car prior to the start of the season, and she is excited to climb back into the cockpit next weekend.

“I’m really looking forward to the event!” said GZ, who also has a motorsport engineering degree to her name. “I have never raced in rallycross before, but when I tested the RX2e car, it seemed like really good fun! I can't wait to get started!”

Sanz is another Extreme E protagonist, partnering rallying hero Carlos Sainz at the ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team. Renowned for her exploits on two wheels, the 14-time FIM Women’s Trial World Champion and five-time FIM Women’s Enduro World Champion has made 11 appearances at the gruelling Dakar Rally, achieving a ninth-place overall finish in 2015 – the best-ever result for a woman in the motorbike category.

The versatile Spaniard debuted in rallycross in RX2e’s combustion-engined forerunner, RX Lites, on home soil in Barcelona six years ago, and is relishing the opportunity to rejoin the World Championship package in Belgium.

“It’s really nice to have the chance to compete in rallycross and the FIA RX2e Championship,” Sanz acknowledged. “I’m still a beginner in this four-wheeled world, so it will be a very interesting experience – back to school for me – because I’m not used to contact with opponents or fighting with other cars at the same time.

“I need to get fast quickly, as we won’t have a lot of laps to learn. I have some good memories of Spa – I have contested some trial races there, and it’s an iconic venue – so it will be really great to compete there again and the main goal is to enjoy it.”