MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally Cross

World RX title-chasing Marklund stars ready for San Luis

Marklund Motorsport supported by Volkswagen will head the race for the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship teams’ title when the series concludes in Argentina next week (November 28/29).The Swedish squad tops the table by four points and will travel to the San Luis circuit determined to cap a memorable season by landing the prestigious accolade with drivers Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen and Anton Marklund.

Petter Solberg RX Brazil

But as well as targeting the entrants’ prize, Marklund runner Heikkinen is on course to finish runner-up in the drivers’ table behind champion Petter Solberg, which would mark a significant achievement for the flying Finn and his Volkswagen Polo RX Supercar.

Heikkinen’s advantage over third-placed Reinis Nitiss stands at 18 points. Like team-mate Anton Marklund, the 23-year-old will be in top physical shape after completing a gruelling fitness test under the watchful eye of Hanna Saario, a professional BodyFitness athlete and currently the world number four.

“I don’t know anything about the track or the town itself but I really can’t wait for the race,” said Heikkinen. “I believe there will be a lot of people coming to see the season finale where my target is to keep second place in the drivers’ standings and help Marklund Motorsport achieve the teams’ title. We’re leading that competition outright for the first time this season and we’re not looking to give it away now.”

No rest for hard-working Marklund team

While the two Volkswagen Polo RX Supercars Marklund Motorsport will run at San Luis were shipped to Argentina several weeks ago, the team has been carrying out a test and development programme with its other cars close to its base in Sweden.

“It’s been six and a half weeks since World RX of Turkey but that doesn’t mean we’ve sat back and relaxed,” said Marklund team principal Jan Marklund. “In fact it’s been just the opposite. We’ve been busy with testing and development work at our HQ in Sweden and we’ve already started our preparations for next season.”

He continued: “Argentina will be interesting and everybody knows its reputation as a motorsport country. The San Luis track is in the middle of the country about 900 kilometres to the west of the capital Buenos Aires. We are committed to winning the teams’ title this year and secure Topi’s second place in drivers’ standings.

Anton has a good chance to climb from his current sixth position so we have some unfinished business to do. This is a new team and we are proud to be supported by our partner Volkswagen. It would be a fantastic reward for everyone to win the teams’ title.”

Trip into the unknown for Anton Marklund

Swede Anton Marklund, 21, is currently sixth in the standings on 159 points. He said: “When it comes to the track it will be for everybody more or less a mystery. We don’t really know what to expect from it but I’m sure it will be a great fun. Argentina is a motorsport nation and they always know how to make good tracks and events.”

World RX Teams’ Championship points recap after 11 rounds: 1 Marklund Motorsport supported by Volkswagen 359 points; 2 Ford Olsbergs MSE 355 points; 3 Team Peugeot-Hansen 320, etc.

World RX of Argentina schedule (November 28/29): Following two open practice sessions on Friday morning, there are two rounds of heats from 1400 local time on Friday and from 1030 on Saturday. The semi-finals and final will take place from 1500 on Saturday. The track measures 4612 metres in length.