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World RX: Scheider on the crest of a rallycross wave


Immortalised as a two-time DTM champion, Timo Scheider has more recently established himself as one of the world’s top off-road races – an accolade cemented with a maiden FIA World Rallycross Championship race victory in Cape Town last weekend.

The result rockets the German driver up the third in the standings and, buoyed by that richly deserved and popular win, he will next head to the concluding World RX of China (11-12 November) assured of two moments to celebrate – his 45th birthday and his most successful World RX season ever.

“When I heard that Hong Kong was the place that we’ll have the World RX final, I thought ‘wow, that’s a very cool call to go there’,” says Scheider.

“With our electric cars, what we have now and what we are aiming for in the future going into city centres, bringing the sport closer to the fans and attracting new fans to the racing is the way to go. 

“Hong Kong is an outstanding city and for all of us it will be a new track, new layout, nobody knows anything, and we’ll all start from scratch. I can’t wait to go there. And this is happening on my birthday, so maybe that is a good sign!”

Once bitten by the rallycross bug, there was no going back for Scheider.

“Everything started back in 2015 when I got the first taste of rallycross,” he recalls.

“It caught me straight away – it was an addiction from the very first second.

“These cars are such a pleasure to drive and for me it’s the purest form of racing. 

“Rallycross is the MMA [Mixed Martial Arts] of car racing. It’s rough and hard on one side, but strategic on the other. It combines everything – powerful cars, strategy, cleverness, smartness, and I just love the moment when you go off the start line and you have to send it into turn one. It’s just so cool to be so close to the other drivers, trying to find your spot and just trying to make everything right.”

Scheider’s maiden World RX victory in South Africa was also the first for the Münnich Motorsport team. It’s a squad that he has race for almost his entire rallycross career, and who were keen to have him back at the start of the all-electric World RX era.

“I’m super happy and thankful that René [Münnich], since for many years now, has trusted in me,” says Scheider.

“When the change to electric came, I was very happy that he gave me a call and said, ‘do you want to have a go?’ For sure, I love being here in the electric World Rallycross Championship and even before Cape Town we’ve had results that we really didn’t expect. 

“When I got in the call, René said, ‘you will most likely never make it to the final with our car because we are overweight, and the car is not what it should be.’ But I said that if you want to talk about it then I’m in! Then in Norway, second event, we finished on the podium, so it really showed us what is possible. 

“I have to say that it’s just so cool to be back in the paddock with such great drivers and teams. To line up against them is just so much fun and a pleasure to be part of.”

And now, alongside rallycross’s most celebrated drivers such as Johan Kristoffersson, Niclas Grönholm and Timmy and Kevin Hansen, Scheider is a World RX race winner.