Opening this weekend of the 2013 edition of the FIA European Autocross Championship in Latvia, marked by a significant increase in the number of participants.
Fri 24.05.13, 4:04PM
The FIA European Championship for Autocross Drivers is about to begin, kicking off on 25 and 26 May in Bauska, Latvia, at the Musa circuit. As in 2012, the competition will include 9 events. After Latvia, the competition will move to Seelow and then Matschenberg in Germany, to Nova Paka in the Czech Republic, to Saint Georges de Montaigu in France (first time in the European Championship), to Nyirad in Hungary, to Prerov in the Czech Republic, to Saint Igny de Vers in France, and finally to Maggiora in Italy.
Going by the field expected for the Latvian event (which will include 35% more participants than in 2012), the 2013 Championship is set to be a success. The stability of the regulations certainly contributes to the confidence of the drivers and to this considerable increase in entries. Three categories are each competing for their European FIA title: SuperBuggy – light, powerful and with four-wheel drive – fulfils the role of flagship category, although Buggy1600 and TouringAutocross are almost equally competitive, and no less contested. In addition to these three Championships, each event includes JuniorBuggies, with drivers aged 13 to 21 contesting an FIA Cup.
71 drivers are registered for the Latvian event on 25 and 26 May, as well as 13 junior drivers. Eleven nationalities will be represented, with the Czech Republic taking a clear lead in terms of participant numbers, with an impressive tally of 24 registered competitors, followed by 9 in the Netherlands, and 8 in Germany and in the organising country. The other countries represented are Russia (4), France (4), Hungary (4), Lithuania (4), Belgium (2), the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (2) and Austria (2).
Champion in 2011 and 2012, German Bernd Stubbe will once again be battling it out for the title in SuperBuggy, and will face his runners-up from 2012, Czech Petr Turek and German Andre Hinnenkamp. Following their recent success, young drivers Thomas Anacleto (FRA), reigning champion in Buggy1600, and Jakub Kubicek (CZE), winner of the 2012 FIA Cup for JuniorBuggy, have taken on the challenge of joining the flagship category.
Thomas Anacleto’s title in Buggy1600 is thus up for grabs, although this does not necessarily mean that the surname of the Champion will change, as Thomas’ brother, David, is also among those fighting for the title! Lastly, in TouringAutocross, Czech Vaclav Fejfar (Skoda Fabia Turbo 4X4) will defend his title against, among others, Hungarian Tamas Karai, third in 2012.
To see the list of drivers registered in the first event of the Championship, click here.