Euro RX: All-star line-up set for Hungarian Euro RX opener


It’s lights out for the start of the 2023 FIA European Rallycross Championship, which gets underway at Hungary’s Nyirád Racing Center this weekend (April 29-30) – and the scene is set for close competition between proven champions, home heroes and some of the sport’s brightest rising stars.

Fast, technical and undulating in equal measure, Nyirád returned to the Euro RX calendar last year for the first time in almost a decade, serving up a feast of close racing in the ‘Red Cauldron’ – so-called due to the distinctive colour of its unsealed surfaces, having been built on the site of a former bauxite quarry. 

The Euro RX1 field is headlined by defending champion Anton Marklund, who is bidding to add a fourth career crown to his impressive CV this year. The Swede, who competes for SET Promotion, triumphed in Hungary last season, and the two drivers who joined him on the podium that day – Enzo Ide and Ulrik Linnemann – are both similarly back for more.

Double FIA European Rallycross champion Andreas Bakkerud left it late before lodging his entry in a Kárai Motorsport Sportegyesület-prepared Audi S1; the Norwegian will team up with fans’ favourite and three-time European Autocross Champion Tamás Kárai – one of six Hungarian drivers on the grid.

Other homegrown talents include László Kiss – a former national title-winner – and Máté Benyó, who recently won the 2023 Hungarian Rallycross Championship curtain-raiser at Máriapócs.

Last year’s Euro RX1 championship runner-up Jānis Baumanis returns with an all-Latvian team, while event-winner René Münnich is also sure to be a contender in his trusty SEAT Ibiza. 

Highly-rated young gun Sivert Svardal was a finalist at Nyirád last year, and fellow rising star Patrick O’Donovan (the reigning British Rallycross champion) now has at his disposal a potent ex-Hansen Motorsport Peugeot 208 WRX. His father, 2007 British title-winner Ollie O’Donovan, joins him in the unique Proton Iriz RX.

In Euro RX3, multiple title-winning outfit Volland Racing brings a quartet of Audi A1s for Damian Litwinowicz – the highest-placed returnee – Espen Isaksætre, Nils Volland and João Ribeiro, all of whom have prior podium form in the series. The team will similarly service the car of local driver Zsolt Szíjj ‘Jolly’.

Although the Audi has unquestionably been the machine to beat over the last few seasons, Volland is arguably facing its toughest challenge yet. Czech ace Jan Černý came within a whisker of victory at Nyirád last year, while fellow Škoda star Jens Hvaal was a revelation on his championship debut at the Nürburgring back in November.

Former French Junior Rallycross champion David Bouet makes his bow at international level in a Renault Clio, and Ferenc Ficza, who previously participated in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, has recently made a successful transition from circuit racing to rallycross, beating multiple title-holder Roman Castoral to honours in the domestic series’ Super Touring Cars - 2000 class last year.

Adding an extra element of intrigue into the mix, whoever climbs onto the top step of the podium this weekend will be a first-time winner in Euro RX3.

Racing will get underway with heat one at 15:45 CET on Saturday (April 29), with all of Sunday’s action – from heat two onwards – to be broadcast live on RX+. 

Euro RX1 Entry List - Euro RX of Hungary 2023

1. Anton Marklund (SWE) SET Promotion (FIN)

2. Oliver O’Donovan (IRL) Team RX Racing (GBR) Proton Iriz

6. Jānis Baumanis (LVA) RX Team Latvia (LVA) Peugeot 208

7. Patrick O’Donovan (GBR) Team RX Racing (GBR) Peugeot 208

11. Aleš Fučík (CZE) KRTZ Motorsport ACCR Czech Team (CZE) Volkswagen Polo

13. Andreas Bakkerud (NOR) Andreas Bakkerud (NOR) Audi S1

22. Máté Benyó (HUN) Korda Racing KFT (HUN) Ford Focus

24. Sivert Svardal (NOR) Sivert Svardal (NOR) Volkswagen Polo

27. László KIiss (HUN) Speedbox Racing Team KFT (HUN) Peugeot 208

33. Ulrik Linnemann (DNK) Linnemann Promotion (DNK) Ford Fiesta

38. Mandie August (DEU) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport (DUE) SEAT Ibiza)

39. Zoltán Koncseg (HUN) Kárai Motorsport Sportegyesület (HUN) Audi A1

50. Attila Mózer (HUN) Nyirád Motorsport KFT (HUN) Ford Fiesta

51. Márk Mózer (HUN) Nyirád Motorsport KFT (HUN) Ford Fiesta

55. Paulius Pleskovas (LTU) TSK Baltijos Sportas (LTU) Škoda Fabia

73. Tamás Kárai (HUN) Kárai Motorsport Sportegyesület (HUN) Audi S1

77. René Münnich (DEU) ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport (DEU) SEAT Ibiza

85. Hans-Jøran Østreng (NOR)Hans-Jøran Østreng (NOR) Hyundai i20

91. Enzo Ide (BEL) Enzo Ide (BEL) Audi S1

Euro RX3 Entry List - Euro RX of Hungary 2023

6. Damian Litwinowicz (POL) Volland Racing (POL) Audi A1

8. Espen Isaksætre (NOR) Volland Racing (POL) Audi A1

11. Jan Černý (CZE) Pajr S.R.O. (CZE) Škoda Citigo

12. Jens Hvaal (NOR) Jens Hvaal (NOR) Škoda Fabia

14. David Bouet (FRA) David Bouet (FRA) Renault Clio

18. Zsolt Szíjj ‘Jolly’ (HUN) Speedy Motorsport (HUN) Audi A1

30. Nils Volland (DEU) Volland Racing (POL) Audi A1

55. Ferenc Ficza (HUN) EAK M-Sport KFT (HUN) Suzuki Swift

58. Dominik Senegacnik (AUT) KRTZ Motorsport (CZE) Škoda Fabia

96. Marcel Suchý (CZE) Jihočeský Autoklub v AČR (CZE) Škoda Fabia

99. João Ribeiro (PRT) Volland Racing (POL) Audi A1

112. Róbert Répási (HUN) Zalaegerszegi ASE (HUN) Škoda Fabia

131. Balázs Körmöczi (HUN) Szada Ring Racing KFT (HUN) Volkswagen Polo