David Binks Gets Ready for Loheac

Photo from WorldRallycrossChampionship.com
David Binks

David Binks

The name David Binks is synonymous with both British Rallycross and Red Bull Global Rallycross. A 16-year veteran rallycross driver, David started racing in the Mini class within the British Rallycross Championship. In 2001, just two years after starting his race career, he won the Mini Rallycross Championship. He then transitioned into Supercars in 2008. In both 2011 and 2012 David was given the chance to race in GRC and finished the 2012 season in seventh place.

Now David will be stepping in for Jacques Villeneuve of Albatec Racing at the Loheac round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Rallycross360 caught up with David to get his thoughts on the upcoming race in September and to find out if we’ll see him back in the USA with Red Bull GRC.

Please tell us about yourself, like how you became interested in racing, when you began racing, and the different types of racing you have done over the years.
“I started as a boy being interested in trucks and plant machinery, always spending my weekends and holidays working with my dad at the family business. We started going to watch the British truck racing championship and then moved on to watching the British TouringCar Championship. As I got older my dreams of racing began to outweigh the desire to watch, but unfortunately we couldn’t raise the budgets to get into a mainline race series. Like all boys I read car magazines and came across Minicross, which I could do from age 16. So I struck a deal with my mum that if I painted the garage, she would buy me a crash-damaged mini for Dad and me to build into a Minicross car for when I turned 16. I painted the garage by the end of the next week, and true to her word my mum paid the £300 for the crashed Mini. After a few months Dad and I had it built and that was it, the start of my racing career.

“It’s been 16 years since then and I have always raced rallycross, through different classes on my way up to Supercars, but I won’t ever forget the lessons I learned in the good old Minis.”

What are your thoughts about the growing popularity of rallycross, especially World RX and the number of drivers from different disciplines wanting to jump in and give it a try?
“It’s great that rallycross is on the up for sure, and great that we are getting some big names wanting to try. It also makes it tough for genuine rallycross drivers to get the financial backing to compete sometimes, but you need both kinds of drivers and I won’t ever forget being teammates with Marcus. It was an amazing year and I learned so much from working with him and also the fact we lined up on the front row at X Games alongside Loeb. It will be interesting in France to get on the grid with Solberg and see how we get on!”

Photo from WorldRallycrossChampionship.com

photo from WorldRallycrossChampionship.com

When did Albatec contact you about racing in place of Villenueve at Loheac?
“I have been talking with Albatec for a long time as well as other teams, and I have known Andy for quite a few years now. They were always open to running me if we had found the budget for this year but unfortunately that fell through so I was very happy to be invited to fill in for Villenueve. I got a call at work, Andy and I had a chat and luckily things fell in place.”

Have you begun testing? If so, where?
“No, we are testing the week before Loheac in a secret location and if I told you I’d have to kill you ;) I have been out of the car a while now and I don’t want any laughing!!”

Which rallycross driving skill(s) do you feel you are best at and which skill(s) do you feel you need to improve upon?
“This is a strange one! Haha, if I answer this I will sound full of myself! My mum and dad always told me you learn something new everyday so I would say I can always improve, but mostly I need to learn to be a bit more nasty on the track. World RX is definitely no place for softies!”

It may be too soon to know, but is there a possibility we’ll see you next year in either the FIA World Rallycross Championship or back here in the U.S. in Red Bull GRC again?
“I’m working hard on a full-time comeback to either World Rallycross or GRC but it’s down to getting the required backing, so if you know anyone who’s interested please point them my way!”

Albatec Signs Ramona Karlsson

World Rallycross Championship in Portugal 2014
World Rallycross Championship in Portugal 2014

Ramona Karlsson

PRESS RELEASE 8/22/2014

Swedish rally star Ramona Karlsson will replace Jacques Villeneuve in an Albatec Racing Peugeot 208 in round nine of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. The first female to enter the World RX arena, Ramona will join 2011 MSA British Rallycross Vice-Champion Andy Scott in Buxtehude over the weekend of September 20 and 21.

Former motocross racer Ramona has an impressive pedigree behind the wheel, twice becoming Swedish Crosskart champion and Swedish junior rallycross medalist before moving into rallying in 2000. The first Swedish woman to take part in a World Rally Championship (PWRC) event in a Mitsubishi EVOX, Ramona collected four Swedish championship podiums in 2013 in a Skoda Fabia WRC where she became the first female driver ever to win an event outright, on her way to the Rally Driver Of The Year award.

The rapid racer also contested the opening rounds of the 2014 Euro RX in a Saab 9-3, but now joins Albatec Racing at the wheel of a 600-horsepower two-liter 16v Peugeot 208 Supercar in a bid to break into the semifinal positions. With the support and backing of Swedol, STP, Motorlotteriet and Thoréns i Kil, Ramona will join the team at a test session at Mayenne in France, immediately prior to Lohéac, before making her World RX debut two weeks later.

So far this season Andy has qualified for three of the four rounds contested, after missing the three Scandinavian rounds to give up his car for former F1 World Champion Jacques, who crashed heavily in testing. The French-Canadian was well-placed to qualify at Trois-Rivieres last time out, running fifth overall before damage sustained in heat three forced him out of the event.

The former Indycar World Series Champion returns to World RX action in the Franciacorta round of the series at the end of September, after missing the two rounds due to clashing television commitments.

Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing:

Team Principal Andy Scott; Photo courtesy of Albatec Racing


Team Principal Andy Scott – photo courtesy of Albatec Racing

“I’m very excited to see Ramona in the team, as I believe she has a lot of potential both in the car and out. She comes into rallycross with a huge amount of experience across rallying and rallycross, and she will, I’m sure, be an asset to the team.

“In our dealings with her so far, she has been incredibly professional and a pleasure to work with. And I look forward to working with her during the event and hopefully beyond. She has proven her ability time and again, and is very proactive and commercially aware, which can only benefit both parties as well as rallycross in general. I look forward to welcoming her into the Albatec family where we are determined to provide her with the tools to help her achieve her goal of reaching the semifinals.”

Ramona Karlsson, Albatec Racing driver #47
“In Höljes, we had some technical issues with the car which resulted in me not competing in Belgium, and I was approached by Albatec to see if I was interested in opening up discussions for 2015. During that conversation, we talked about the commercial benefits of all parties for me to take part in some races this season, as I intend to contest the full World Rallycross Championship next year.

“The co-operation with Albatec was very recently settled, and I’m extremely excited to be joining them. I have watched the team with interest all season, having had communications with them before the start of the year, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by their professionalism, their attention to detail, and their enthusiasm. I look forward to working with their engineers and mechanics to help develop the 208 into an outright race-winning car.

“I hope we have a good test and I get a good feeling for the car, I think it will be a big difference from the Saab, but I will really take the opportunity to soak up all I can. I’m really looking forward to Germany and my goal is to reach the semifinals.”

Binks To Replace Villeneuve at Loheac Round

David Binks
Photo courtesy of Albatec Racing

Photo courtesy of Albatec Racing

Albatec Racing Press Release 8/08/2014

British rallycross ace David Binks will step into Jacques Villeneuve’s Albatec Peugeot 208 at Lohéac, round eight of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. Clashing commitments for the former F1 World Champion means the French-Canadian will be unable to race at the biggest event on the World RX schedule, which takes place over the weekend of September 6 and 7.

David is no stranger to rallycross, coming into the event with a fine pedigree in Minicross, British, and Global Rallycross, but his appearance in France will mark his World RX debut. The former Minicross Champion will drive the second 600-horsepower 2-liter 16v Supercar alongside Albatec Team Principal and former British Rallycross Vice-Champion Andy Scott.

Newcastle-based David contested the British Rallycross Championship in 2010 and 2011, claiming third place twice at the wheel of his Mk6 Fiesta, before embarking on a season in Global Rallycross alongside former double World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm. Running third in the final round, a dramatic roll at SEMA ended his season, and his sponsor pulling out of motorsport left the talented 32-year-old on the sidelines for 2014.

Now with the support and backing of Harsh Ltd., Smuggling Duds, Codemasters Racing, JBT Waste Services, and recycleitall.com the rapid Briton will undergo a test session with Albatec in France immediately prior to the race, where the Dumfries-based team aims to return to semifinal form.

Andy Scott, Team Principal, Albatec Racing driver #26:
“I am delighted that David is able to join the team for what is arguably the biggest event on the rallycross calendar. More than 75,000 fans flocked to Lohéac last year and while we’re naturally disappointed that Jacques is unable to race in France, I’m sure David’s return to race action will be well received while he is equally capable of securing a top result.

“We have a very good relationship and I’m very happy that we were able to secure his services. He is without question a very talented driver, with a lot of rallycross experience under his belt, and I’m confident that we will be able to provide him with the tools to do the job.”

David Binks

David Binks

David Binks, Albatec Racing driver #81:
“After far too long away from racing, I’m extremely excited about being asked to step into Jacques’ car and make my World RX debut at the most exciting event on the 2014 calendar. I’ve always had a very good relationship with Andy and the entire Albatec Racing team, so thank you to them for giving me this opportunity. Thanks also to my sponsors and partners, Harsh Ltd., Smuggling Duds, Codemasters Racing, JBT Waste Services, and recycleitall.com, whose help has made this possible.

“I’m looking to the event very much as a stepping stone to hopefully a full season in World RX next year. Sadly due to a change in the budget structure with a previous sponsor I was unable to fullfil my intentions to compete this season, however hopefully doing this event will offer the chance to show my potential and secure the necessary funds for a full assault in 2015.”

ATLANTIC CROSSING FOR WORLD RX

Photo by RallycrossRX.com
Photo by RallycrossRX.com

photo by RallycrossRX.com

PRESS RELEASE  8/5/2014
WORLD RX CROSSES THE ATLANTIC FOR LANDMARK EVENT

Friday, August 8, will go down in history as the day the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy staged its first event outside of Europe as part of the annual Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres (GP3R) motorsport festival in Quebec, Canada. The GP3R, which also forms a round of NASCAR Canadian Tire and Canadian Touring Car, will host the seventh round of World RX at the Trois-Rivieres street circuit and will see all four heats, semi-final, and final run over one day instead of its normal two-day format.

Now in its 45th year, the GP3R always attracts tens of thousands of spectators as motorsport fans descend on Trois-Rivieres, set 85 miles north-east of Montreal to watch the week-long motorsport extravaganza. This year the event has been given a facelift as Canada becomes the first country outside of Europe to host a round of the FIA’s newest World Championship. At 1.35 kilometres long, the Trois-Rivieres street circuit is comprised of 59% asphalt with the remaining 41% gravel/dirt section laid out within the local hippodrome.

During the mid-season hiatus 29 cars travelled to Canada, including 10 cars that will compete in the RX Lites Intercontinental Cup. Nineteen Supercars will battle it out in the headline Supercar category including the championship’s six permanent two-car teams. A new manufacturer will also be represented in the Supercar field as Vermont-based Subaru Rally Team USA have entered three-time European Rallycross Champion Sverre Isachsen. “I’m very excited for Canada and to compete again against some of the same teams and under the same race format from my years in Europe,” explained Isachsen. “We have put so much effort into developing the Subaru from scratch into something very competitive now, I hope for a good result.”

Team owner at Subaru Rally Team USA, Lance Smith, added: “World RX of Canada is nearly in our backyard and we saw it as a great opportunity to gain further experience while testing our mettle against another set of talented drivers and teams. Although ultimately built to a different series’ rule, Sverre’s car was generally built around the FIA regulations, so it has not been too difficult for us to enter.”

VW Marklund Motorsport will make up a large chunk of the entry list in Canada with four cars taking part. Regular teammates Topi Heikkinen and Anton Marklund (third and fifth in the driver standings respectively) will be joined once again by American Top Gear presenter Tanner Foust, who makes his third World RX outing for the squad this year. Completing the lineup is former IndyCar and NASCAR star Patrick Carpentier who is a regular World RX commentator but will swap to the driver’s seat for his home event. “I already have butterflies and can’t wait to try the Supercar,” said the French-Canadian who admitted that he’s learned a great deal about the sport since commentating on World RX for Canadian TV station RDS.

Leading the driver standings by three points is former WRC Champion Petter Solberg for the PSRX Team, who has enjoyed the mid-season break travelling in Sweden with his motorhome as well as watching his son Oliver taking a win in the Swedish Crosskart Championship. “The rallycross is all happening in one day, when the track is being converted to include some dirt, just for us,” explained Solberg who went on to add: “The circuit is going to be really interesting with some tight corners – typical of the sort you find on street tracks. Like the last time in Belgium, we go off the line and through a couple of corners before the first chance to take the joker lap – this means the action will be fairly intense in the early part of the first circuit. There are three jumps on each lap, which means we’ll spend quite a while in the air. This kind of track won’t flow in the way others have, it’s really kind of stop-start, but by getting every braking point absolutely spot-on and not sliding too much, we can make some good time.”

Joining Solberg in a second PSRX run Citroen DS3 Supercar will be Estonia’s Sten Oja: a former North European Zone rallycross champion who has spent the past 12 months working as an engineer for the Torsby-based team.

After a sensational first half to the season, 18-year-old Reinis Nitiss is second in the drivers’ standings for Ford Olsbergs MSE and will be joined by regular teammate Andreas Bakkerud. Also joining the team as a wildcard entry in Canada is 20-year-old Finn Joni Wiman, who will pilot a third Ford Fiesta Supercar. Ford Olsbergs MSE continue to lead the teams’ standings, 19 points ahead of VW Marklund Motorsport.

Following its first podium of the year, Team Peugeot Hansen will be eager to secure another top three finish as team drivers Timur Timerzyanov and Timmy Hansen embark on the second half of the season. Timzerzyanov, who won last year’s European Rallycross Championship, remarked on the high speed nature of the Trois-Rivieres street circuit: “I’m really looking forward to racing in Canada – the rallycross circuit has the longest straight of the season. I think the whole track will be high speed. It will be very much like a circuit race, so that style will be interesting. I have done two days driving in a single seater car in Russia to practice that type of style.”

Former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve is yet to reach a semi-final in this year’s World RX and will be looking to rectify that on his home turf. Competing alongside team owner Andy Scott, the Albatec Racing duo will be looking to make the most of a test planned on Thursday. “It’s always a pleasure to race in Quebec, and I’m delighted that I not only get the chance to race the Supercar in World RX but also the Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR event,” explained Villeneuve. “Although it’s my home track, the rallycross configuration will be as new to me as it will be to everyone else until the very first test on Thursday. I’m feeling quite confident ahead of the race and looking forward to driving in front of the enthusiastic home crowd.”

Monster Energy World RX Team will field two cars in Canada and will be fronted by Frenchman Davy Jeanney, as well as Henning Solberg in a second Citroen DS3 Supercar.

Representing Ireland as part of the LD Motorsports Team, Derek Tohill has been enjoying a short holiday in Canada in a bid to minimize the effects of jetlag. “I have travelled early to Canada with my family to take a holiday, prepare for the event and importantly to ensure to experience none of the effects of jet lag so I am at the top of my game! Of course, it will be great to have my family supporting me too,” said the two-time TouringCar Champion.

Notable entries in the RX Lites Intercontinental Cup include Julien Febreau, French F1 commentator for Canal +. An accomplished rallycross driver, Febreau was brought up in Loheac and recently won on his Supercar debut in the French Rallycross Championship. The Frenchman commented: “I’ve had a good look at the RX Lites in World RX and I must admit that I’m very impressed. The level is high and it won’t be an easy task for me to reach the performances of some of the guys competing and in such a short period of time. But my main target is to have fun on track and to work well with the team.”

After a stunning display in the RX Lites Cup at Lydden Hill, which he went on to win, America’s Mitchell DeJong will return for his second World RX outing this week. The 16-year-old will be accompanied by two other American drivers Tyler Benson and Austin Cindric, and will also be joined by regular RX Lites drivers such as Kevin Hansen, Patrik Sandell, and RX Lites Cup leader Kevin Eriksson.

Nine Questions With World Rallycross Driver Timmy Hansen

Timmy Hansen
Timmy Hansen

Timmy Hansen

With the FIA World Rallycross Championship in full swing we were fortunate enough to catch up with Team Peugeot Hansen driver Timmy Hansen during a rare bit of downtime.  Not only is Timmy the eldest son of Swedish rallycross legend Kenneth Hansen, he has also accumulated quite the racing resume at the ripe old age of 22. Timmy started out in karting, winning the KF2 Swedish Championship in 2008, before switching to Formula BMW, continuing on to Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0., and settling into the exciting discipline of rallycross.

What are your thoughts about the growing popularity of rallycross, especially World Rallycross and the number of drivers from different disciplines wanting to jump in and give it a try?

“It’s no surprise to me that drivers from other disciplines want to try RX, I did it myself a few years ago and I loved it! The power and the kind of racing you get in these cars isn’t possible to get anywhere else!”

In terms of racing technique, what are you focusing on or working on this season?

“As I’m coming from a background of racing and formula it’s quite obvious that I have to work on the gravel sections. I need to learn to be very aggressive through the gravel corners while still keeping my smooth driving style on the tarmac.

Photo from teknikensvarlde.se

Photo from teknikensvarlde.se

If there was one racer in the series that you really want to beat, who is it and why do you want to beat them?

“All of them! ;) I want to win.”

Have there been any unexpected challenges this season?

“Me and Team Peugeot Hansen have gone through so many rough patches yet this year. Those times we have to stay stronger then ever as a team and believe that our time will come if we fight this through to the end.”

Is there any other motorsport you would like to try someday?

“Since some of the F1 drivers are looking to do rallycross after they quit, perhaps I should try Formula One after I’m done in rallycross… haha!”

Photo by European Motorsport News

Photo by European Motorsport News

Out of all the tracks you have raced on, which do you find the most challenging?  Which is your favorite?

“Every circuit has its own challenges that you have to work on that weekend. Höljes though is probably the most difficult circuit, and also the most prestigious race to win!”

Have you ever considered racing over here in the U.S. in the Red Bull Global Rallycross series?

“I always follow Red Bull Global Rallycross when they’re racing. We will have to wait and see if I will ever try my luck there.”

After a rough day on the track, who do you vent to or discuss the day’s events with?

“After the finals the team always sits down together to relax, have a Red Bull, and talk about the race for a while.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

“To be honest, I have no idea. For the moment I’m focusing on doing a great job where I am now, then we will see where that takes me!”

You can follow Timmy this season at hansen-motorsport.se, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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