European Champions ESmotorsport to step up to World RX in 2022 | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

European Champions ESmotorsport to step up to World RX in 2022

  • gb

Buoyed by its recent title triumph with Andreas Bakkerud in Euro RX1, ESmotorsport will join the FIA World Rallycross Championship grid in 2022 – with team manager Robertas Maneikis predicting ‘jaw-dropping’ performance from the new electric RX1e cars.

ESmotorsport was founded by Ernestas Staponkus, a former racer himself. Staponkus was runner-up to future FIA European Rallycross Champion and World RX event-winner Reinis Nitišs in the FIA North European Zone (NEZ) Super1600 series in 2012, going on to compete in Euro RX’s Super1600 category.

A podium finish in Germany in 2014 preceded a best championship placing of seventh the following year, before the Lithuanian hung up his helmet at the end of the 2016 campaign to focus on building up the team that now bears his initials.

ESmotorsport duly entered World RX for the first time in 2019, with Kevin Abbring notably piloting its Škoda Fabia to fourth place in both Norway and Sweden that summer. Nitišs climbed behind the wheel for the double-header in Riga last year.

In 2021, the team has run Bakkerud and Jānis Baumanis in Euro RX1, the Latvian winning on home soil last month and the Norwegian clinching the coveted crown at Spa-Francorchamps. The Lithuanian outfit’s combustion-engined activities, however, have always been something of a means to an end, aimed at accumulating experience before embarking upon World RX’s exciting electric era, which is Staponkus’ overriding passion.

ESmotorsport joins Kristoffersson Motorsport (KMS) and ALL-INKL.COM Muennich Motorsport in confirming its 2022 World Championship plans. In total, 14 kits have already been reserved from Austrian firm Kreisel Electric, the company behind the RX1e car that is set to electrify World RX next year, with faster acceleration and greater all-round performance than ever before courtesy of 500kW delivered to the twin motors – equivalent to 680bhp – and 880Nm of instant torque.


Robertas Maneikis, Team Manager, ESmotorsport, said: “We are excited to confirm that ESmotorsport will enter World RX in 2022. Even just a couple of years ago, it seemed inconceivable that we would have this kind of evolution in rallycross but here we are, with a brighter future just around the corner and we are excited to be a part of this big transition.

“Our results in Euro RX1 this season ignited a new fire for us to fight amongst the most skilled and experienced competitors in the world next year. Ernestas [Staponkus] is delighted by the decision to make the championship more sustainable in 2022. Jaws are definitely going to drop when people see these cars on-track.”