03 December 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Polo pair for Kristofferson Motorsport’s 2014 RallycrossRX assault

Kristofferson Motorsport Polo RallycrossRX Supercar

Buoyed by the success of Marklund Motorsport’s success in a Polo Supercar in the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship, experienced Swedish team Kristofferson Motorsport are planning a similar challenge in the world series next year. Running under the ‘VW Dealer Team Sweden’ name, the outfit will run two Polos according to reports surfacing today. The pair of small Volkswagens will replace the Sciroccos which the team has been running this year. Kristofferson will start small and contest its home round in Holjes and the Swedish Rallycross Championship, but are looking to mount a global assault on the series in due course.

Team owner Tommy Kristofferson said: ‘We will do the Swedish round of the World Championship of course, and more, but we need to see the calendar first. This isn’t a one-year project and the plan is to be competing in the World championship full time as soon as possible.’ No doubt sensing a halo effect from the Polo’s WRC success, commenting on the switch from coupé to small hatchback, Kristofferson said: ‘The Polo is the best choice from the marketing side, and also from the technical point of view.’ The near-600bhp VW Dealer Team Sweden Polos will have chassis built in Germany, which will also be where the first complete car will be constructed. The second fearsome car will be built at Kristofferson’s base in Sweden.

[Source: RallycrossRX/RallycrossWorld]

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09 July 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Silver for Ekström at European Rallycross Championship in Sweden

2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship, Sweden: Mattias Ekström

After just two weeks behind the wheel of Marklund Motorsport’s guest driver rallycross Polo R, Mattias Ekström took second place at his home track of Höljes in round six of the FIA European Rallycross Championship last weekend. The three-times Race of Champions winner and DTM star placed fourth at the X Games Munich in the Red Bull-liveried Polo the weekend before Sweden, and the Swede was first in heats three and four, with the fastest times of the meeting. In the semi-final, Ekström started third, played his joker on the first lap, chasing down the rest of the pack from last place. As every other driver played their jokers, the Swede crept ahead, stealing the lead from Timmy Hansen, and finishing one second ahead.

Ekström started from third in the final, behind Andreas Bakkerud and Petter Solberg, dropping to fourth behind Hansen as he played his joker. Ekström stayed close behind, keeping tight to Hansen as they both moved forward a position when Solberg pulled out on lap three. Shortly after Bakkerud took his joker, Ekström flew past Hansen, continuing to hold him back for the remaining two laps, awarding the DTM regular a well-deserved second place in only his first RallycrossRX competition. ‘The whole experience of this weekend has really been 10 of 10 – the way the event is run, the spirit of the spectators, and the passion and commitment of the Marklund Motorsport team is incredible. I’ve said it before but the way the car handles is amazing, I’ve never felt the way I have this weekend in my entire career, and I really hope I’ll be back on a rallycross track soon,’ enthused Ekström.

As in Munich, it was a more disappointing weekend for Marklund Motorsport’s lead driver Anton Marklund. A knock with Kristoffersen lead to a puncture on the first lap, putting Marklund in 28th place after heat one and then 32nd overall as he was driven off the track by a race-ending crash with Valle in heat two. Although he set fast times on day two of the meeting – winning his third heat and placing second in his fourth – Marklund was unable to reach the semi-finals in Höljes. ‘What a great result for the team – Mattias had amazing pace, he’s an incredible driver and really showed how awesome the Polo R Supercar can be! I had a tough weekend, and was knocked out of the running in my first two heats, but even though I had a better day today it just wasn’t enough to get me any further,’ commented Marklund.

[Imnages: Johnny Loix, QBA/Qnigan.com]

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05 July 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Ekström fourth at 2013 X Games Munich; Marklund retires

2013 X Games Munich: Mattias Ekström

Two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström finished fourth at the wheel of a Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo R in the rallycross final of the X Games in Munich. In front of a full-capacity audience, Ekström expertly took his 500bhp Red Bull-liveried Polo to the finishing line on the ‘FröttmaRing’, a course specially created for the X Games within sight of Munich’s Allianz Arena. The guest driver also came first in his qualifying race on the 807-metre course. ‘I really enjoyed the rallycross and the performance of the Polo was very good,’ said Ekström after the race. The Swede had already achieved a satisfying fifth place on Saturday, in the race that had had to be postponed from the X Games in Barcelona.

From practice, into seeding and then in the heats, the Swede was incredibly fast. Pitched against Isachsen, Menzies and Lasek, in his heat, Ekström held his own, getting straight into pole position off the start line. Maintaining his pace throughout, Ekström finished the six laps three seconds ahead of his competitors. Moving into the final, Ekström faced a tough battle, with Isachsen almost on top of him on the first corner, coming out from the tussle in seventh. As Deegan exited the race on the second lap, the Marklund Motorsport driver was propelled into sixth, ahead of Block. In the third and fourth laps, Ekstrom stayed close to fifth place Bell, almost passing him on several occasions and eventually clearing him on the fifth jump.

Despite holding his place for a further three laps, Block overtook him on the first corner of the final lap. Ekström kept in close pursuit, managing to tactically claim fourth, passing Block on the very last corner. Ekström placed fifth in round two on the previous day: ‘I’m very pleased with the two days as a whole. I learned a lot, I had a great time and really enjoyed the experience but I can’t deny that the results could have been better. Fourth and fifth is just outside of the medals – I came here with the dream of getting one even though I was entering as a rookie. I cannot say enough of the team and everyone that has given me the chance to do this and I cannot wait for next weekend in Holjes (Sweden).’

Having taken fourth place in round two the day before, the team’s first driver Anton Marklund did not have the same luck as his teammate on the second day. Marklund’s heat started well, with the driver in second position for the first two laps but unfortunately crashed into the tyre barrier after close contact with Arpin on the fourth lap and could not finish. Also in a strong position at the beginning of the LCQ, a restart had all drivers back to the grid on lap two. Extremely close contact on the first corner of the restarted race had Marklund out of the running and unable to continue as the LCQ was restarted for a second time. Clearly disappointed with the result of day two in Munich, Marklund stated, ‘Both me and Mattias had good pace at the start of the day but lots of contact and some bad crashes meant I was unable to make it to today’s final. I’m happy that Mattias has taken his first weekend in rallycross head on and come out with a great result that the whole team is very proud of.’

[Images: QBA/Qnigan.com]

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26 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Mattias Ekström in Marklund Motorsport rallycross Polo R for X Games Munich

2013 Volkswagen Polo R Supercar: Mattias Ekström

Rallycross team Marklund Motorsport has signed 34 year-old Swedish DTM driver Mattias Ekström for the second 600bhp Polo R Supercar seat at ESPN X Games Munich, and the sixth round of the 2013 FIA RallycrossRX Championship in Höljes, Sweden. The three-times Race of Champions winner will join 20 year-old Anton Marklund, currently fifth in the 2013 RallycrossRX drivers’ championship, who has been getting Ekström up to speed with the car during testing sessions this week in Estering, Germany.

2013 Volkswagen Polo R Supercar: Mattias Ekström

‘It’s an extreme car with incredible power considering it’s so small. I have never driven a car quite like this before. It’s enjoyable but a big challenge, which I like, but I have to learn the driving style quickly and find a set-up that suits me in a very short time as the competition is very hard and very aggressive. I’m really looking forward to doing these events as my father was a rallycross driver,’ said Ekström during the Estering testing sessions. Ekström has enjoyed a successful motorsport career from his debut in the Swedish Touring Car Championship in 1997. He won the series in 1999, and has since been driving in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), winning the famed series twice.

The X Games Munich are in Munich, Germany on 29-30 June, and the sixth round of the FIA RallycrossRX Championship takes place in Höljes, Sweden on 6-7 July.

[Images: Getty Images/Martin Rose] 

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26 March 2013 ~ 3 Comments

Monster machine – Anton Marklund’s Polo T16 bidding for rallycross success

FIA 2013 European Rallycross Championship: Anton Marklund VW Polo T16 4x4

Volkswagen enthusiasts knew that 2013 would bring Polo R WRC action, but it would appear to be a bumper year for Polos in motorsport. In addition to the 315bhp four-wheel drive machines tearing up the world’s rally stages, there are also the established Engen Volkswagen Cup and Volkswagen Polo R-Cup India circuit championships, and the squad of Polo S2000 cars which are competing in the South African National Rally Championship. In addition, Group N Polo 1600s are also rallying through India and South Africa, adding to the car’s motorsport pedigree. And this weekend – at the birthplace of rallycross, Lydden Hill, Kent – sees the UK debut of the most fearsome motorsport machine of the lot – Anton Marklund’s 550+bhp rallycross Polo T16.

Built to compete in the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship, the 20 year-old’s four-wheel drive Polo will compete in the Supercar category, the Swede moving up from the Touringcar class, which he won last season – his first full European championship. The number 92 car has been tested throughout the winter in Marklund’s native Sweden, and took runs at various end-of-season special events last year. ‘Testing on ice has let me learn a lot about driving a four-wheel drive car and made it possible for me to learn fast,’ Marklund commented.

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