In a weekend full of firsts, the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Championship comes to an end on 11/12 November as the championship takes to the streets of Hong Kong with the second double-header event of the season. This is your guide, curtesy of The Checkered Flag, to what to expect from the thrilling season finale in the sport’s first visit to the Asia-Pacific region.
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The majority of the firsts associated with this weekend concern the track itself. For the first time, World RX will take place on a 1225-metre street circuit. The asphalt sections, which make up 63% of the track, are closed public roads, adding a new element of challenge for the drivers. They will once again all be in ZEROID X1 cars, the standard RX2e machines, following the ongoing investigation into the fire that destroyed Special ONE Racing‘s cars. You can read more about the specifics of the cars here.Hong Kong’s spectacular skyline. Credit: Jonathan Mehring / Red Bull Content Pool
The circuit certainly looks enticing, an intoxicating blend of 90-degree turns, complex sequences, very long straights and tight hairpins. Unusually, the joker lap is 23m shorter than the standard lap, but it is tighter, slower, and twistier. The two laps merge just before the finish line, similar to Estering in Germany, hopefully leading to some incredible showdowns.
Championship leader Johan Kristoffersson is relishing the challenge, saying that street circuits are “the most fun to race on.” The racer’s love of this form of racing is certainly due to the risk involved. “Of course it can happen that you make a mistake and it has more severe consequences when it is on a street circuit,” he acknowledged, “but that’s the same for everyone.”
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Kristoffersson is in prime position to seal an extraordinary sixth world rallycross title. All he needs to do is score 10 points over the double-header weekend and he will be crowned champion. It would take a truly extraordinary stroke of bad luck for him not to achieve this goal. However, ever the professional, he is taking nothing for granted: “we’ve seen many times in championship fights that if you’re too cautious on day one, it can lead to problems on day two as well, but I’ll just do my best as usual and let’s see how it goes.”