30 April 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Marklund and Heikkinen ready for FIA World Rallycross Championship assault

2014 Volkswagen Polo RX: Anton Marklund and Topi Heikinnen

As well as seeing action in the World Rally Championship, the Polo is to star in another high-profile FIA-sanctioned series, the World Rallycross Champinship presented by Monster Energy which kicks off on 3-4 May at Montalegre in Portugal.

More than 50 of the world’s best rallycross drivers will battle it out at the Portugese track, in Supercar, Super1600 and TouringCar classes.

Volkswagen Motorsport has teamed up with rallycross team Marklund Motorsport to run a two-car Polo RX squad with drivers Anton Marklund and Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikinnen. The Swedish outfit are well-known in rallycross circles and Anton Marklund ran a Polo RX during the 2013 season.

The 2014 Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar developed together with Volkswagen Motorsport generates an almost unbelievable 560bhp across all four wheels and can accelerate from 0 to 62mph (100km/h) in 2.1 seconds!
 
‘I can’t wait for the season to finally start,’ said Topi Heikkinen, adding: ‘We’re aiming for the championship title – but it’s going to be a tough fight, because seasoned professionals and fast up-and-coming drivers take part in the rallycross championship.’
 
Anton Marklund is chomping at the bit too: ‘I’m really looking forward to the start of the season in Portugal. I can no doubt learn a lot from my teammate Topi. And I couldn’t ask for any better support from the team. I’m feeling good about the new season.’

Alongside VW, there will be another five World RX two-car teams present in Portugal including other manufacturer-backed squads of Ford-OlsbergsMSE (Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss) and Peugeot-Hansen (Timur Timerzyanov and Timmy Hansen). Also fighting for Supercar victory will be PSRX’s Petter Solberg with team-mate Alex Hvaal. The line-up will also include former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve.

As well as the SuperCar Polo RXs, Belgian driver Patrick Mertens will run a Polo in the TouringCar class, while Ernestas Staponkus will try to claim Polo spoils in the Super1600 classification.

The draw for Saturday’s first qualifying heat will be made on Friday afternoon (2 May). The second qualifying heat also takes place on Saturday with the remainder of the heats plus the semi-finals and finals to take place on Sunday (4 May).

World RX – which is promoted by IMG, the global sport, fashion and media company – is the FIA’s newest World Championship and in 2014, the race action will be broadcast in more than 100 countries with a combined household reach of 816 million homes. The Championship is made up of 12 rounds: Portugal, Great Britain, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Argentina.

Anton Marklund will also compete in the 2014 Summer Global X Games in his number 92 Polo RX. He will compete against 22 other rallycross drivers in Austin, Texas. At 20 years old, he competed at the Global X Games for the first time last year becoming the youngest driver ever to compete in the series. The Marklund Motorsport driver finished 4th in the Rally Car Gymkhana Grid division at the 2013 X Games Los Angeles last August.

‘I am thrilled to race at the Austin X Games this June. It is an honour to compete against such a talented group of racers. I’m hopeful that my progress as an athlete will help me deliver a top performance and get me a place on the podium,’ Marklund said. Before heading to the X Games, Marklund will compete in two rounds of the FIA World RallycrossRX championship in Portugal and the UK in May.

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