Klara Andersson to make history as the first permanent female racer in WRX
After her stunning debut last year in Spa in RX2e, Klara Andersson is back for a full-season campaign in the highest class of rallycross - WRX. With CE Dealer Team, she will make history as the first ever female permanent driver in the series, as she aims for podiums and wins. Want to discover more about this groundbreaking talent? Here's our chat with the young Swede.
Klara Andersson will make history as she becomes the first permanent female driver in the highest class of rallycross - the WRX. CE Dealer is a new team on the grid of the World Rallycross Championship with a multiple-year contract to prioritise sustainability, diversity and inclusivity. And the team is taking it seriously, as Klara Andersson is set to become the first full female entrance in the eight years of history of the series. Her teammate will be Niclas Grönholm, son of two time WRC champion Marcus Grönholm, who is not new to the scene with more than 60 starts and six victories in the Championship. CE Dealer Team is currently in the final stages of completing the 100% electric rallycross cars that can accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than two seconds – quicker than a Formula 1 car. Klara and Niclas will drive the brand new electric RX1e Supercar to aim for wins in 2022! Let's discover who is young Swede Klara Andersson. 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 and made her debut in RX2e shortly after. In the top-electric rallycross 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. This year she joined Xite Energy for the current Extreme E season, where she missed the first event in Saudi Arabia due to Covid and will now battle for the win in both Championships. But here's Klara in her own words.
"My name is Klara Andersson and I'm a 22 year old Swedish Rallycross Driver in Sweden Junior Team" - she describes herself. "I started with karting when I was 7 and immediately fell in love with the sport." "After winning multiple championships I switched to rallycross in 2018. Since then I've become Junior Swedish Vice Champion 2020 and Swedish Champion 2021. I also made my debut in FIA World Rallycross in RX2e last year, where I finished fourth at Spa-Francorchamps and got invited to the Rookie Invitational Test in Extreme E by Acciona Sainz XE Team." "Off track, I've been working at a gym for 2.5 years as an instructor and Personal Trainer." - she continues. "Although this year I am focusing 100% on motorsport and looking to take the next step in my career!" She is the younger sister of Euro RX Touring Car event-winner Magda Andersson. Her way into motorsport was quite clear.
"My parents both did rallycross when they were younger and actually met that way!" - she tells us. "So it was quite natural for me and my sister Magda to try go karting when we were 7 and 9 years old since motorsport is such a huge interest in my family."
"I did karting for 6 years which was amazing because of the amount of laps and time on the track. I believe karting is a great school for any discipline in motorsport." "My goal was though always to switch to rallycross because that's what I had the most passion for, and also what my parents competed in as young", she says. "The plan was to switch to rallycross in 2013 in the new class JRX, but unfortunately the class disappeared and I had to wait 5 more years to be in a car again."
"Motorsport means everything to me. It has always been my biggest passion from the moment I sat in a go kart for the first time. I love racing and my life wouldn't be the same without it."
Talking about her idol in motorsport and her role as women in motorsport, Klara has a clear favorite and reason behind it.
"I have always looked up to Sébastien Loeb", she tells us. "He's an outstanding driver and a true role model for me."
"Being a young female in a male dominated sport has its pros and cons. I try to just see myself as a driver racing other drivers. For example, last year I raced as the only female against 55 men and won the Swedish Championship - and I felt nothing but respect from my competitors and team."
"But I would love to see more women do motorsport. It's one of few sports where men and females can compete against each other on the same terms, which I think is awesome. For sure it would be amazing if I could inspire younger girls to start racing. I'm still young and in the beginning of my career but I want to show younger girls that they can do it too if they want to."
Her biggest success was the title in the Swedish Rallycross Championship and her amazing debut in Spa in the RX2e category is currently what she sees as her biggest days in her career so far.
"Becoming Swedish Rallycross Champion last year was the best day of my life so far", she says. "It was my first year in the big championship - not the junior one - and I raced against 55 men and won it with a clean sweep in the final race at Arvika."
"It felt amazing and something that I'm very proud of. Also, since I was 1 point from becoming Junior Swedish Rallycross Champion the year before, the gold medal felt extra special!"
"I have always been confident in my driving, but I could have never imagined sitting at the press conference, P3 overnight at my debut in RX2e at Spa-Francorchamps last year. I have dreamt of driving in the FIA World Rallycross Championship ever since I was a little girl, riding my bike in the paddock, and to make that debut at Spa-Francorchamps and finishing 4th was truly special to me."
Klara always had a clear objective and paved her own path in motorsport - but her B plan was equally as exciting.
"Actually I played ice hockey for 10 years growing up and was really passionate about it", she recalls. "But since motorsport has always been my priority, I made the choice between the two sports when I was 13. If I didn't do motorsport I would most definitely still be playing hockey!"
Where does she see herself in 5 years? "Hopefully racing around the world and living my dream", she replied. Her dream is very much reality.
Follow Klara's adventure in WRX and at the first event from 2nd to 3rd of July at Höljes/Sweden, as she competes in her first race of the 2022 season of rallycross, followed by the next Extreme E event - the Island XPrix I and II in Sardinia/Italy - from 6th to 7th of July and 9th and 10th July.