Days go by and the tension is growing. The first 100% electric event of the FIA Rallycross World Championship is about to start at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and to celebrate it, some of the elite racers of the Catalan competition have gathered in Barcelona with a specific purpose: to show the potential of the event.
Specifically, they did so at the Moll de la Barceloneta of the Port Vell, where a magnificent exhibition was held to inaugurate the CatalunyaRX, which will officially start for fans this Saturday 29 October. Under the watchful eyes of tourists and citizens, Laia Sanz, Carlos Checa and Jordi Gené have completed a tour at the wheel of different vehicles.
The event was also attended by the Catalan Minister of Business and Labour and President of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Roger Torrent i Ramió, who wanted to send a message to the general public. “”I encourage everyone to come to the Circuit this weekend, to enjoy a 100% electric race, which will be spectacular, and also to enjoy the e-Mobility experience, an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in electric mobility, test all kinds of electric vehicles, and have fun with the activities and shows of the 1st edition of an event that aims to be the most important in southern Europe”, said the President of the Circuit, who opened the event in the Cupra UrbanRebel with Gené.
The Minister of Business and Labour was accompanied by Oriol Sagrera, Secretary General of Business and Labour; together with Damià Calvet, President of the Port of Barcelona; and Josep Lluís Santamaría, General Manager of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
During the exhibition, Laia Sanz and Carlos Checa got into an RX2e, the vehicle used in the category considered the prelude to the WorldRX. The multiple trial and enduro world champion, Laia Sanz, continues to strengthen her unstoppable career on four wheels and continues with a speciality that she got to know a few years ago precisely at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Catalan rider made her debut in Rallycross in 2015 in the RX Lites category during the CatalunyaRX.
“It’s really nice to be able to drive in Barcelona with the car I will be racing this weekend so that everyone can see what we are doing. I’m very happy, and this year I’ve been able to do two races in this championship which have been very good for me to learn and adapt to the conditions of Extreme E. This weekend being able to race at home will be incredible”, the multiple champion confessed to the media present, and added that “these cars are a lot of fun, you are surprised, although at the beginning it’s a bit difficult to master them, they have a lot of power”.
Carlos Checa, however, faces his first drive on one of the fastest and most powerful cars in the world. Today’s test is just a taste of what the former MotoGP rider could have to offer during the race. Jordi Gené, one of Cupra’s brand ambassadors, also delighted those present in the impressive and innovative Cupra UrbanRebel. In fact, Marc Gené’s brother was in charge of opening the event with the Minister of Business and Labour and President of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Roger Torrent i Ramió.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun this weekend. It’s great that we can show today what it’s all about a little bit. This car has brutal acceleration and I know it will be difficult to compete with other experienced drivers in this head-to-head fight. I hope to have a good race at the Circuit and make the most of this opportunity,”, said Carlos Checa.
CatalunyaRX ready for action
The Circuit will open its doors on Saturday to enjoy the first day of action. In the premier class, WorldRX, the drivers to watch out for are Johan Kristoffersson, the reigning champion and first in the points table of the current season; Kevin Hansen, who is 41 points behind him; and Ole Christian Veiby, just one point behind the youngest of the Hansen brothers. His brother Timmy, the fifth-placed driver, will also be one of the drivers to watch due to his good results at the Circuit on previous occasions. This year, moreover, the championship will change its format and the finals will be held both on Saturday and Sunday, being something like a double qualifying event for the World Championship.
In the RX2e category, the traditional format will be maintained, with some heat races on Saturday and others on Sunday, along with the semi-finals and the final. Viktor Vranckx is the driver to follow, as he is the best driver with a total of 57 points. He is followed by Isak Sjökvist and Nils Andersson. Pablo Suárez and Laia Sanz are sixth and eighth respectively, and defend the home representation accompanied this time by Carlos Checa and Pepe Arqué, who join the competition in the CatalunyaRX. Former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld will also be present in the category as a last-minute confirmation.
The e-Mobility Experience completes a weekend dedicated to sustainable mobility
In addition to all the sporting activities, the Circuit has also organised the e-Mobility Experience, an experiential show, where all the novelties around electric vehicles will be presented and tested: cars, motorbikes, e-bikes, scooters and more. The fair will have a commercial area with exhibitors, as well as an entertainment area with multiple activities, including activities for children. There will also be a gastronomic area with different proposals and live music to liven up the paddock.
Access to the events
CatalunyaRX attendees will be able to access through gate 3 from 9:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. They will have the IN6 car park at their disposal for parking and will be able to follow the activity from the grandstands of the stadium area: B, C and G. Access to the e-Mobility Experience will also be provided through gate 3, and the show will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.