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World RX: Yan Zhang’s hopes for a bright rallycross future in China

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The forthcoming World RX of China (11-12 November) will be the first time that the FIA World Rallycross Championship has visited the Asia-Pacific region – and an exciting mixed surface street circuit in the iconic Victoria Harbour area of Hong Kong will be where the 2023 champion is crowned.

“The World RX event in Hong Kong will be very good for the future of the sport in China,” says Yan Zhang, who earlier this year became the first female Chinese driver to race in an international rallycross event.

Zhang more than demonstrated her speed and bravery around the tight and twisty Estering track, although her World RX of Germany ended a little earlier than she’d hoped after rolling her ZEROID X1 car.

However, the race result was never going to be the most important aspect of her fact-finding mission to Europe.

“I wanted to come to learn about rallycross for two reasons – one, the aim of bringing a Chinese driver to the championship next year and two, to bring rallycross to China,” she said.

And she is well placed to do both.

Following a successful racing career in Europe, Zhang now owns her own motorsport team and her own rallycross track in Beijing – where she’s on a mission to find a Chinese mixed surface racer via her driver coaching scheme.

“I’d like to help develop the sport right across the country and bring rallycross to Beijing and other Chinese cities, and World RX of China will be another big step forward in achieving that,” adds Zhang.

“Rallycross isn’t so well known in China at the moment, but it will be very popular because it is a very interesting sport for spectators.

“You can see all of the track and really enjoy watching the racing from the grandstands, and it’s possible to come to a track like the one I have in Beijing and have a go at driving in rallycross yourself. People will enjoy that.”