Magic Weekend: All you need to know about rallycross’ return

Who’s racing what and when, plus where to watch the return of high-profile rallycross

RallyX Nordic Holjes 2019

Rallycross is well and truly back.

Two nationals championships are already underway: Sosnová hosted the first Czech national round of the year last weekend, as did Höljes for the opening double-header of the Swedish national series.

But the first weekend of July, Sweden’s traditional date on the World Rallycross Championship calendar, has been resurrected to host a different ‘Magic Weekend’, as the RallyX Nordic regional championship has its first bout of the year.

Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s event.

What is the Magic Weekend?

The ‘Magic Weekend’, a rallycross meeting that always takes place on the first weekend of July at Höljes Motorstadion, is widely considered the jewel in the crown of World Rallycross, alongside France’s round of the world championship at Lohéac.

But with World RX rescheduling its Swedish round for August, the regional RallyX Nordic series has picked up the date to host its season opener.

Behind the World RX circus and its various support championships, and Nitro RX in America, RallyX Nordic is the next-biggest rallycross series in terms of profile. Oliver Solberg won the RX Nordic Supercars title as a 17-year-old back in 2018, while several other drivers have raced in the series before stepping up to World RX and Euro RX.

RallyX Nordic Holjes 2019

Photo: RallyX Nordic Media

What classes of car are competing in the Magic Weekend?

The main event is the Supercar class. The cars in this are essentially identical to those that compete in World RX, which pack 600bhp and 665lb-ft of torque. There’s some small differences regarding ECUs, data-loggers, radiators and the like to keep costs down.

This is the class Oliver Solberg will be in, as will two-time World RX champion Johan Kristoffersson, and other familiar faces from World and Euro RX like Niclas Grönholm, Robin Larsson, Oliver Eriksson, and Pontus Tidemand. Fraser McConnell, who won two ARX2 titles with DirtFish Motorsport, is making his Supercar debut, and the Legends race will be run using Supercars too.

Supercar Lites is the main support category, which utilizes a mid-engined spaceframe car built by Olsbergs MSE. It’s the last step young drivers take before moving up to the fastest Supercars in the world, and those who’ve trodden that path tend to agree the Lites cars are actually harder to drive than Supercars; the engine being in the back acts like a pendulum. The cars are the same as those used in World RX’s undercard RX2 series, and many of the drivers and teams from RX2 will be competing in the Magic Weekend.

Lastly there’s the CrossCars. This is the class WRC star Thierry Neuville and reigning World RX champion Timmy Hansen are competing in as a special one-off. These lightweight tubular steel frame buggies have high-revving 750cc or 600cc bike engines in the back – the latter is mandatory for Junior XC. They’re still quite fast little things, the senior CrossCars lapping only around six or seven seconds off the pace of the 600bhp Supercars.

Where’s the Magic Weekend being hosted?

Höljes, an all-time classic rallycross circuit, will host the Magic Weekend. Though it’s been around since 1976, Höljes isn’t one of the longest-serving top-flight rallycross tracks; it didn’t become a permanent fixture on the Euro RX calendar until 1999, though has now cemented its status and is considered a must-have on the World and Euro RX calendars.

Drivers love the circuit for its undulating nature. There are two jumps: one on the regular lap just after the joker split at Turn 2, and another very fast one on the approach to the final corner. The ‘velodrome’ at the back of the circuit is especially important; it’s a banked sweeping uphill left-hander that’s crucial to get right to maintain speed on the fast run to the final corner.

press_2019_06_SWE_ATMOSPHERE_(302)

Photo: World RX Media

Can I pack my bags and head for Höljes?

No.

The first week of July is significant as a date for the event because it’s not long after Midsommar, when the days are at their longest and daylight is almost non-stop, so Swedes take advantage and party. Usually that means Höljes is packed to the rafters when rallycross comes to down, especially Happy Street.

Happy Street, for the uninitiated, is a long stretch of road usually bustling with fans – or, perhaps ‘revellers’ might be a more apt description – and their Volvos, old muscle cars, caravans, buses and trucks. They’re usually partying right next to the track, as Happy Street stretches from Turn 2 to the ‘Velodrome’ at the far side of the circuit.

But COVID-19 has at least temporarily brought an end to all that. No fans are allowed at the track; instead, fans can watch all the racing on a pay-per-view stream.

Where can I watch the Magic Weekend?

RallyX Nordic is hosting a pay-per-view online stream, which will have all the racing live bar the CrossCar qualifiers (there’s 64 qualifying races across all three days – too much to broadcast!).

Subscriptions are available for 249 SEK (approximately $28/€25) through StayLive. NEP, which produces the broadcasts for WRC+ and World RX, is also producing the PPV live broadcast for the Magic Weekend.

You can sign up to the livestream here.

RallyX Nordic Holjes 2019 CrossCar

Photo: RallyX Nordic Media

What’s the Magic Weekend timetable?

There’s track action over five days; a quick practice session on Wednesday takes place before the proper running starts on Thursday, with a full RallyX Nordic championship round squeezed into a single day. To fit a whole event into a single day, there’s only three qualifying rounds instead of the usual four.

Friday’s track activity is minimal but there will be action from the Legends, while round two of RallyX Nordic takes place over both Saturday and Sunday.

DateTimeSession
Wednesday, July 11300 EDT / 1000 PDT / 1900 CETRXN Round 1 – Free practice 1
Thursday, July 20200 EDT / 2300 PDT (Weds) / 0800 CETRXN Round 1 – Free practice 2
0330 EDT / 0030 PDT / 0930 CETRXN Round 1 – Q1, Q2, Q3, Semifinals, Final
Friday, July 30700 EDT / 0400 PDT / 1300 CETLegends Free practice
1000 EDT / 0700 PDT / 1600 CETLegends Shootout
1100 EDT / 0800 PDT / 1700 CETLegends Q1
Saturday, July 40200 EDT / 2300 PDT (Fri) / 0800 CETRXN Round 2 – Free practice 1
0420 EDT / 0120 PDT / 1020 CETRXN Round 2 – Free practice 2
0705 EDT / 0405 PDT / 1305 CETRXN Round 2 – Q1, Q2
1200 EDT / 0900 PDT / 1800 CETLegends Free practice
Sunday, July 50230 EDT / 2330 PDT (Sat) / 0830 CETWarm-up
0305 EDT / 0005 PDT / 0905 CETRXN Round 2 –  Q3, Q4, Semifinals, Final
1030 EDT / 0730 PDT / 1630 CETLegends Semifinal and Final

Who is competing in the Magic Weekend?

There’s over 90 drivers lining up across all five categories. That’s definitely too many to list in full here, so we’ve picked out the main drivers to watch from each of the races (and the full five-driver Legends grid) for these lists.

Supercar

NO.DRIVERENTRANTCAR
1Johan KristofferssonVW Dealer Team BauhausVolkswagen Polo
4Robin LarssonKYB Team JCAudi S1
11Oliver SolbergPS 110 procent ABCitroën DS3
16Oliver ErikssonOlsbergs MSEFord Fiesta
33Enzo IdeJC RaceteknikAudi S1
35Fraser McConnellOlsbergs MSEFord Fiesta
45Pontus TidemandHedströms MotorsportVolkswagen Polo
68Niclas GrönholmGRX TanecoHyundai i20

Legends

DRIVERENTRANTCAR
Marcus GrönholmGRX TanecoHyundai i20
Per EklundVolkswagen Beetle
Andréas ErikssonOlsbergs MSEFord Fiesta
Stig-Olov WalfridsonHelmia MotorsportRenault Clio
Henning SolbergHedströms MotorsportVolkswagen Polo

Supercar Lites

NO.DRIVERENTRANTCAR
18Linus ÖstlundOlsbergs MSESupercar Lites
47Jesse KallioOlsbergs MSESupercar Lites
52Simon OlofssonSTS RXSupercar Lites
60Martin EnlundOlsbergs MSESupercar Lites
77Henrik KrogstadYellowSquadSupercar Lites
90Jimmie WalfridsonJC RaceteknikSupercar Lites
91Niklas AneklevOlsbergs MSESupercar Lites
999Dan SkočdopoleYellowSquadSupercar Lites

CrossCar

NO.DRIVERENTRANTCAR
5Thierry NeuvilleLifeLive NordicTN5
11Jimmie ÖsterbergÖsterberg MotorsportSpeedcar
15Julle LjungdahlTiKRXSpeedcar
21Timmy HansenLifeLive NordicTN5
67Isac EgonssonCarcontrolSpeedcar
170Isak ReiersenJC Raceteknik JuniorteamYMS
175Timmy EnlundEnlunds MotorsportEDGE

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