Marklund Motorsport to undertake Euro RX title defence with updated Polo and exciting new partnersSwedish rallycross team Marklund Motorsport will begin the defence of its FIA European Rallycross...
Volkswagen wants to win the FIA World Rallycross Championship. To achieve this goal, Marklund Motorsport and Volkswagen Team Sweden are joining forces. With Johan Kristoffersson and Anton Marklund behind the wheel of a VW Polo Supercar, newcomers Volkswagen RX Sweden are aiming for Driver’s and Team Championship title in 2016.
Two of the strongest teams in the sport are joining forces in their pursuit of making it all the way to the top. Marklund Motorsport finished second in both the driver’s championship and the team championship in 2014, and this year Johan Kristofferson of Volkswagen Team Sweden finished third in the championship.
“Volkswagen Motorsport is positive about the merger that came about as a result of the team’s initiative. A collaboration between Marklund Motorsport and Volkswagen Team Sweden will strengthen Volkswagen’s position in one of the fastest growing areas of motorsport. Combining our capabilities will create good possibilities for further success in the sport,” said Jost Capito, Director at Volkswagen Motorsport.
Sten Forsberg, head of Volkswagen Sweden, also welcomes the joint venture that the Swedish teams are embarking on. “The competitive situation in the FIA World Rallycross Championship calls for creative solutions to achieve success for both Marklund Motorsport and Volkswagen Team Sweden, which we as collaborative partners strive for. With our joint effort, we are convinced that the team with Johan Kristoffersson and Anton Marklund as drivers will be able to keep up with the pack and be fighting for the championship,” he said.
The Volkswagen RX Sweden project is not directly linked with Volkswagen Motorsport, rather it is in collaboration with Volkswagen Sweden.
Team bosses Jan Marklund and Tommy Kristoffersson are behind the merger of the blue and yellow venture with two Swedish drivers. “We already discussed a merger last year, but we never got around to it. Now the plans are becoming reality and I am really looking forward to seeing what we will be able to achieve now that we have combined forces and are focussing our world championship involvement on two cars.
Both of the teams have done really well in the championship and have both won events and claimed podiums. Now we will be added to the mix of Volkswagen’s involvement and our joint goal for 2016 is very clear,” said Jan Marklund.
Tommy Kristoffersson explains the ambitions with Volkswagen RX Sweden in more detail. “With Volkswagen, we represent a strong brand where we challenge for titles in the official FIA championship in a sport that is becoming increasingly popular. This calls for a joining of forces. Pooling our resources enables us to provide the stable platform of infrastructure and competence that is required for professional, long-term involvement,” he said.
Volkswagen RX Sweden will be part of the Högkammen group, owned by Jan Marklund and Susanne Nygren. Högkammen will bring economic stability to the project.
Tommy Kristoffersson will be the general manager of the new team and Michael Schneider has been appointed team manager after having performed the same role at Marklund Motorsport this season. “The merger gives us good sporting chances, and on a personal note, I am really looking forward to working with our drivers, engineers and mechanics and collaborating to form and develop the team. Ambition, passion and teamwork are the keywords,” said Kristoffersson.
Initially, the team’s new cars will be built at Marklund Motorsport’s premises in Boliden. As the season gets closer, for geographical reasons, the work will be relocated to Arvika, where Volkswagen Team Sweden is based.
The 2016 world championship calendar includes 12 events in 11 countries. The season opener in Portugal in mid April will be followed by an intense month of racing in May, with three events scheduled. Autumn will also be a busy time of year with two events in both September and October. “The calendar and distance between the events means that it is unlikely that we will be able to take the cars and equipment home more than two or three times during the season,” observed Marklund, who revealed that the new team will invest a lot of resources in testing. “We will have a separate test unit with a racing car, staff and trailer that will manage our development activities. The competition in the FIA World Rallycross Championship is becoming increasingly tough and to be in with a chance of winning the championship, we need to constantly improve and optimise the equipment.”
Volkswagen RX Sweden
Team Owner: Jan Marklund
General Manager: Tommy Kristoffersson
Team Manager: Michel Schneider
Drivers: Johan Kristoffersson, Anton Marklund
Test Driver: Ole-Christian Veiby
FIA World Rallycross Championship 2016
16-17 April: Montalegre, Portugal
7-8 May: Hockenheim, Germany
14-15 May: Mettet, Belgium
28-29 May: Lydden Hill, Great Britain
11-12 June: Hell, Norway
2-3 July: Höljes, Sweden
6-7 August: Trois-Rivieres, Canada
3-4 September: Loheac, France
17-18 September: Barcelona, Spain
1-2 October: Riga, Latvia
15-16 October: Estering, Germany
26-27 November: Rosario, Argentina