As the flourishing FIA World Rallycross Championship now enters its third season, with Cooper Tire Europe as an Associate Partner to World RX since the beginning, both the driver line-up and sport’s fan base is stronger than ever.
Nine-time FIA World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb has joined Team Peugeot-Hansen to compete in all 12 rounds featured on this year’s calendar, starting with Portugal on 15-17 April. Loeb’s teammate will be last year’s World RX runner-up Timmy Hansen, both driving a Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar.
Reigning World Champion Petter Solberg will once again go head-to-head with Loeb, the two ex-WRC stars savouring the challenge of packed grids and mixed terrain at World Rallycross venues.
Cooper applies its brand philosophy ‘from the rough to the smooth’ to World RX, with its unrivalled rallycross tyre supplied to all World RX and RX Lites teams. The company has long been a global leader in rallycross tyre production, and a version of its successful product developed for World RX is also utilised in RX Lites – introduced to the feeder series at the start of 2015.
The main difference with the RX Lites tyre is that it’s slightly smaller in radius and diameter. This scaled version of the Supercar tyre, manufactured using a similar tyre construction, allows a smooth and easy transition from the Lites car to the Supercar as drivers’ progress from RX Lites to World RX.
Cooper Tire Europe Marketing Communications Manager, Sarah McRoberts, said, “World Rallycross has established itself as a leading form of motorsport, drawing spectators from all across Europe. Cooper has a rich heritage in the development and production of rallycross tyres, and is proud to be the official tyre supplier to World RX whilst also dominating European Rallycross championships.
“We look forward to the World RX season ahead, particularly with the addition of Ken Block and Sebastien Loeb to the championship which demonstrates just how rapidly the profile of the sport has grown.
“Entering RX Lites was an important step, and a natural progression for us at the beginning of last year. We appreciate just how valuable it is for young drivers to hone their craft on a product they can then continue driving on throughout their career. There is an incredible amount of talent coming through RX Lites, and I’m sure this year we will see many more thrilling on-track battles from the next generation of rallycross champions.”
Starting in Germany, at the Hockenheimring, the RX Lites season comes to life at the second World RX event of the year. RX Lites will have seven points-scoring weekends at World Rallycross rounds in 2016.
World RX will venture outside of Europe twice over the next eight months, heading to Canada in August and finishing the season in Argentina, nearly two months after the RX Lites series comes to a close in Latvia, at the end of September.