Klara Andersson impresses with P4 at WRX debut
The all new-electric era for World Rallycross started in Hell, Norway: Klara Andersson, the first ever female full-entry in the highest class of rallycross, highly impressed with a strong debut, finishing fourth in the final.
After a long wait for the new FIA World RX season, the highest rallycross series finally got underway for the first event of the new era in Hell, Norway. The season opener at Nürburgring has been postponed and will now take place at the end of the season - and the first round of the all-new electric era began with the exciting debut of the new cars and some new drivers on the entry lists, alongside the well known names in the rallycross scene. Among them was Klara Andersson, who became the first ever full-time female driver in the highest class of rallycross. Andersson made global headlines in 2021, after the 21-year-old became Swedish Rallycross Champion in the 2150 category. In a country that has historically produced some of the best rallycross talents, Andersson rose to the top and established herself as the next big thing in the sport, making her debut in RX2e shortly after. In the RX2e series, Andersson impressed right away, finishing fourth at Spa Francorchamps at her first appearance in the finals. A member of the Swedish Junior National Team of Motorsport - a programme aimed at supporting the most promising national talents - Klara Andersson is only at her fourth season in motor racing, having faced a several year hiatus after an important karting career. In 2020, she was runner-up in the Junior Swedish Rallycross Championship before taking the crown in the main class in 2021 - and now aims higher and higher, with this year's campaign in WRX with CE Dealer - a new team on the grid of the World Rallycross Championship, that aims to prioritise sustainability, diversity and inclusivity. And the team is taking it seriously, as Klara Andersson became the first full-time female entry in the eight years of the series' history. Her teammate, Niclas Grönholm, is the son of two time WRC champion Marcus Grönholm - a driver who is not new to the scene, having more than 60 starts and six victories in the Championship under his belt. But back to Hell! It was the first appearance in three years for the venue of Hell/Norway, which saw a dominant run by Johan Kristoffersson: the Swede smashed the time record in the third heat and showed that he is already on path to be the benchmark of the new electric era, as like has been with the previous cars. The Hansen brothers will be tough competitors as well - and several drivers are ready to seize every opportunity to climb the championship standings as well. The stage wins and the semi-finals were shared by Kristofferson and Timmy Hansen, as both showed impressive speed with the new electric cars. Klara Andersson had great pace through all the runs, but had some bad luck in Heat 2, when she wasn't able to finish the race. Nevertheless, she managed to make her way up through the final. "Some ups and downs, but overall I'm happy with the pace we showed today" - said Andersson. "Unfortunately I got technical issues in Heat 2 after an unlucky hit in turn 1, but that’s rallycross." - she explained. In the final, Kristoffersson started from P2 but he was able to slide into first place when Ole Christian Veiby, Niclas Grönholm and Timmy Hansen went three-wide and were overtaken by the Swede. Kristoffersson made it look easy and took the chequered flag to win the first event of the season, ahead of Timmy Hansen and Christian Veiby. Klara Andersson had a really impressive first weekend as championship driver: she made her way through all the heats, reached the final and finished in a strong fourth place. "It’s been a fantastic debut for me in the FIA World Rallycross Championship" - she explained. "It feels absolutely amazing to finish fourth behind such merited drivers such as Johan Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen."
"We have shown our potential and collected valuable experience. The team have really supported me all weekend and pushed me forward. There are still some tenths to find in both me and the car, and I look forward to continuing in Riga." - Klara Andersson concluded. The next round of FIA World Rallycross will take place in Riga, Latvia, from 3rd to 4th September.