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12 Sep 2013

RX: One for the road

Category: ERC, News Posted 12.09.13 17:27 by

After two successive European Rallycross Championship round victories Andreas Bakkerud is going to hitchhike from Bergen to the RallycrossRX Finale in Buxtehude.

 

Two back-to-back wins in the FIA European Rallycross Championship and a lost bet with the new Rallycross promoter IMG has produced a challenge that Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud must stand in for now. “I’m going to hitchhike from my home town of Bergen to the Estering near Hamburg in Germany, where this year’s last European round is going to take place. For the coming weekend “BabyBlue” is set to compete in the penultimate round of the new series at Greinbach in Austria and hopes for a third overall victory in a row.

When the new RallycrossRX series was launched by its promoter IMG early this year 21 years old Andreas Bakkerud offered IMG representative Tim Whittington a bet he regrets already. “I said to him something like if I’m able to win one of the championship rounds in its debut season in the SuperCars class I would hitchhike from Bergen to the Finale in Germany. This is a distance of almost 1500km,” says Bakkerud with a big grin and adds: “I had already forgotten about the bet, but after I took my second consecutive victory in France, just 14 days ago, Whittington came to remind me of what I had said. After the race in Austria this weekend I fly home to Bergen, and then I’m hitchhiking down to Buxtehude. I have to stand in for what I have said, and as it will be quite a challenge I even like the idea.”

 

At the top of the Rallycross World

The 2013 season started with a lot of bad luck for Andreas Bakkerud and his almost 600bhp strong Citroën DS3 SuperCar, but in the last three championship rounds everything went smoothly for the Norwegian. After the last two races the youngster from Morvik just outside of Bergen found himself at the top of the winner podiums, even since the entry lists had a lot of names of true superstars, including the likes of 9-times World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb, 2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg, US superstar Tanner Foust and WRC ace Kris Meek. “An English motorsports newspaper had the headline ‘Bakkerud Wins World’s Biggest Rallycross Event’ after my victory in France. This makes me proud, but it also reminds me to keep up the level. If we succeed also in the two last races, one of the top three final places are certainly within reach.

Despite his victories and the sport’s huge grow over the running season 2013 has been all but a financial success for the youngster from Bergen. “I had to borrow money from the bank to finish the last two races. In consultations with my family we agreed that this is the last year of such an effort in which all of our money is being spent on the sport. The other athletes had two months of vacation prior to Lohéac, while I have been working 12-hour shifts day after day to earn enough money to finish the season. The victory in France makes one to forget all that work for a while, but we need to be realistic for the future as well,” claims Bakkerud. There are in fact new big things in the making by IMG and FIA, the international bodies for the new RallycrossRX series.

“The next season’s status changes by 99 % chance from a European Rallycross series to a World Cup for Rallycross. This means an even greater effort, for both the athlete as such and his wallet. I need at least a budget of 4 Million Norwegian Crowns [about half a Million Euros] just to take part in the game. But the goal is, of course, to try to become the first ever World Rallycross Champion, not just being an also-ran,” says the 2011 and 2012 ERC winner in Super1600s.

 

In need of your help!

“To hitchhike down to Germany helps not much on the budget, but can maybe improve bit for bit of my situation. At the same time I think it will turn out to be a fun trip,” says Bakkerud. “Some companies will be with me during the tour. IMG even sends a special video producer to accompany me on the trip. They will surely have all evidence that I do not cheat on my 1500km way. And if anyone has suggestions for how we can get down the best way I’ll take all the help on offer. Therefore, please contact me on my Facebook page!”

“I’m leaving my home at Morvik Road 80b at 9 o’clock in the morning on Tuesday, September 17. My grandma has promised to help me with a lunch-pack, so I have some food for the first couple of hours. We have also created a special hashtag, #HaikToRX, so that people can follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to be aware where I am. I will definitely need your help to make a good start and to catch the pole position this time,” states Bakkerud with a big grin on his face.

 

To Andreas Bakkerud’s Facebook here.

Andreas Bakkerud on Instagram here.

To Andreas Bakkerud’s Twitter account here.

 

Photo: Would YOU give such a guy a lift…? © JKR/ERC24