Off-Road Champions honoured in London
Organised in turn by each of the ASN members of the FIA ad hoc Commission, the 2013 Championships Off-Road Prize-Giving was held in London this weekend. The event was hosted at the initiative of the MSA (the ASN of Great Britain), and special thanks are due to the MSA for creating such a spectacular weekend of activity.
At the dawn of the very first edition of the FIA Rallycross World Championship, the ceremonies provided the perfect stage upon which to relive the highlights of 2013 and to share everyone’s projects and ambitions for the season ahead. The three 2013 European Rallycross Champions should all be gracing the World Championship with their presence: crowned European Champion for the second consecutive year, the Russian Timur Timerzyanov definitely intends to be there at the start of the World Championship and to write his name into the history books as the very first World Rallycross Champion. Winners in the support categories of Super1600 and TouringCar respectively, Reinis Nitiss and Derek Tohill will now join the ranks of the elite. Although Nitiss, the first European Champion to hail from Latvia, has already put his signature to the contract that will tie him to the OMSE team, which races the Ford Fiesta, the Irishman Tohill is still considering his various options. A brilliant second in the European Championship in SuperCar, despite a budget considerably lower than those of his direct adversaries, the Frenchman Davy Jeanney has yet to conclude an agreement for the 2014 season. The youngest member of the SuperCar category, Timmy Hansen, did not content himself with lifting the trophy for finishing third in the 2013 Championship, also bagging the trophy awarded to the best “Rookie” of the season. He will be lining up at the start of the World Championship, and sporting the colours of the family team, Hansen Motorsport, which has just announced its association with Peugeot Sport.
The other Off-Road discipline honoured in London was Autocross, the European Championship of which is thriving, with events attracting an average of 93 participants. The flagship category is the SuperBuggy, and its dominant force, who, incidentally, successfully defended his title, is the German Bernd Stubbe, crowned for the fourth time. In Buggy1600, the title was reclaimed by the young Hungarian Kristian Szabo. At the wheel of a Skoda Fabia 4x4, the Hungarian Tamas Karai won against the twin car of the outgoing Champion, the Czech Vaclav Fejfar. Alongside each of the rounds of the European Championship there was also a JuniorBuggy Cup reserved for young drivers aged from 13 to 21. This was won by the German Munkler, the first winner of this Cup who is not from the Czech Republic.
The London event also provided the opportunity to award several special prizes to the best organisers and the best countries. As in 2012, the trophy for the best Autocross event of 2013 was awarded to the French organisers of Saint Igny de Vers, whilst the Swedish organisers of Höljes won the corresponding prize for Rallycross. To nobody’s great surprise, for the... fourteenth consecutive time, the Czech Republic lifted the 2013 Autocross Nations Cup.