Volkswagen to enter FIA World Rallycross Championship with Marklund MotorsportEnlarge Photo
Current World Rally Championship title holder Volkswagen has confirmed that it will enter the new FIA-sanctioned World Rallycross Championship
(World RX), which gets underway this year and has already snagged top drivers Jacques Villeneuve
and Ken Block
. Villeneuve will be driving a Peugeot 208-based car while Block will be in his signature Ford Fiesta.
VW won’t be going it alone in World RX as it will be competing together with Swedish rallycross outfit Marklund Motorsport. The two have signed a three-year deal, with Marklund set to use VW’s successful Polo platform for its new rallycross car.
Marklund ranks among the most ambitious independent teams and has single-handedly developed the Polo for World RX use. The cars develop around 600 horsepower from their turbocharged four-cylinder engines and feature beefed up suspension that allows them to make repeated 70-foot jumps typical of rallycross circuits.
Drivers will include Finland’s Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen, the winner of the 2013 season of the rival Global Rallycross Championship, as well as Marklund’s own Anton Marklund. Both will compete in all 12 rounds of the inaugural season of World RX this year, with the first event taking place in Montalegre, Portugal in early May.
"Rallycross is attracting ever-increasing levels of attention in Europe and overseas and is one of the fastest growing motorsport disciplines out there,” Volkswagen motorsport boss Jost Capito said in a statement. “The races are short and sweet, the cars are spectacular and look almost like factory models.”_______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.