- Former RX2 championship runner-up returns with his eyes on the prize
- Belgian anticipating fierce fight around demanding Danish circuit
- All of the major action to be broadcast via global livestream – sign up here!
Former RX2 Series presented by Cooper Tires runner-up Guillaume De Ridder is race-ready ahead of this weekend’s ‘winner-takes-all’ shoot-out at Nysum in Denmark (4-6 September) – and excited about competing for a prize that he describes as a springboard to success in the sport’s electric era.
De Ridder competed in the first two campaigns of RX2 and was a front-runner from the outset. A hat-trick of podium finishes with JC Raceteknik in 2017 paved the way for a championship challenge with Olsbergs MSE the following year, as the Belgian impressively claimed a brace of victories on Scandinavian soil at Hell and Höljes. He dovetailed that title bid with a rookie season in RallyX Nordic – belying his lack of prior experience in the series to clinch the coveted crown at the first time of asking.
In 2019, De Ridder stepped up to Supercar level with the GCK Academy in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, twice reaching the semi-final stage. Budget shortfall – exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic – prevented the 27-year-old from returning for a second consecutive campaign at the highest level this year, but World RX’s loss is very much RX2’s gain.
What’s more, the 2020 RX2 Champion will be rewarded with a fully-funded, single-round drive in next year’s FIA eRX2 Championship – one of the biggest prizes in the sport. As De Ridder rejoins the single-make series with OMSE, he does so with a steely determination – and ‘unfinished business’ on his mind.
“I’m thrilled to be going racing again after so long out of the cockpit,” he revealed. “I genuinely didn’t think I would get the opportunity this year, particularly in light of the current situation – but then RX2 announced this single-weekend, double-header shoot-out, which offered a lifeline to drivers like myself who otherwise may not have competed at all in 2020. With such an incredible champion’s prize on offer, I immediately set to work to make something happen.
“I’ve never made any secret of my interest in electric motorsport and my desire to get to grips with this kind of technology as quickly as possible. Our sport is changing, and we are in the midst of an energy revolution. Personally, I am convinced it’s the right way for rallycross to go to re-attract manufacturers, which is key to its future growth, and with such short, sharp races, this is the perfect discipline for electrification.
“To win this weekend would provide a great springboard towards the future, and having finished third in RX2 in 2017 and second in 2018, I definitely have a little unfinished business in the championship, so I will be doing my utmost to put that right and finish the job!”
De Ridder dominated proceedings at Nysum in RallyX Nordic in 2018, taking Top Qualifier honours and comfortably winning his semi-final only to subsequently be excluded after a communication error prompted him to miss the joker. Two years on, he is back for revenge – although under no illusions about the size of the task that awaits.
“I’m well aware of the calibre of my rivals, having competed against some of them in the past and having witnessed some of the others in action,” he acknowledged. “It will be very difficult to beat the likes of [Henrik] Krogstad, [Jesse] Kallio, [Linus] Östlund and [Simon] Olofsson, who have proven their pace all season. I know I’ll need to rapidly raise my game if I want to stand a chance of winning.
“It’s clearly going to be an extremely tough battle, and a tall order to fight for victory following almost nine months out of a race car – and even longer away from Supercar Lites machinery. Nonetheless, I hope to be able to exploit my past experience in the car on this track to quickly get back onto the pace.
“Fortunately, I had the opportunity to test at Strängnäs earlier this week, and I immediately felt at ease. I established a good feel for the Supercar Lites car again, which bodes well for the weekend ahead. I’m excited to get going!”
With the event sharing the stage with the RallyX Nordic season finale, fans will be able to enjoy more than ten hours of high-octane entertainment via the global, non-geoblocked livestream, starring the ‘Voice of Rallycross’ Andrew Coley, studio host Neil Cole and esteemed British journalist Hal Ridge. Subscriptions are available for just 199 SEK (c. €19,99), and the sign-up link can be found here.