Double Apex attended the recent 2023 FIA World Rallycross Killarney event to bring you this report and exclusive gallery of images.
The FIA Rallycross championship visited South Africa after a long hiatus. The last round of the series held on African soil took place just before Covid-19 sent the world into turmoil. This visit was the first for the series outside of Europe since then. As a result of the long distance, series organisers decided that the SA round would be a double-header held on the weekend of October 7-8.
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This is the second FIA sanctioned world championship event to take place in the Mother City this year. FIA Formula E took place on a custom road course on the Atlantic Seaboard at the end of February 2023. That event was a roaring success (as you can see at this link). It boasted a full house of spectators, looked glamourous and cast Cape Town as a mini-Monaco. The rallycross event did not manage to do any of that.
Usually motorsport-mad Capetonians did not attend the event in their masses, as witnessed by empty grandstands and open embankment seating. This was not helped by an international field that featured just four teams with two cars each. Neither did near gale-force winds on the day, admittedly completely outside anyone’s control.
The folks we chatted with trackside blamed late, or non-existent marketing, or the lack of drama (read: noise) from the electrically powered RX cars that were racing in the main event. The latter fact was ‘amplified’ when Johan Kristoffersson took his championship-winning Polo, powered by a rip-snorting turbocharged engine, for a few demo laps around the course. This is the very same car that Petter Solberg drove at the 2023 Simola Hillclimb. The local rallycross series also seemed to garner more cheers than the international races.
Off The Calendar
Kyalami has been left off the 2024 IGTC calendar, which means there’s no Kyalami 9 Hour race in 2024. The provisional 2024 Formula E calendar does not include Cape Town, although there are a few open slots that still need to be filled. The poor support of the 2023 FIA World Rallycross Killarney race may leave this event’s future in jeopardy. We will have to wait for that answer until the organisers publicise its 2024 schedule.
Kristoffersson extended his lead in the title race by taking victory on Saturday. He shared the podium with Kevin Hansen in second and Timo Scheider in third. The same three drivers shared the podium after Sunday’s final, except in a slightly different order. Scheider triumphed over Hansen while Kristoffersson was relegated to third place. The championship now goes down to the final rounds, another double-header, that will be held in Hong Kong.
For now, enjoy these images shot by the talented Jacques Vermeulen specifically for Double Apex. You can check out more of his photography skills on his Instagram.