After first Audi and later on Peugeot already said ‘goodbye‘ to the FIA World Rallycross Championship, today it was PSRX Volkswagen Sweden (the team of Petter Solberg and Johan Kristoffersson) and Volkswagen Motorsport who announced to sit out the 2019 series and to focus on ‘other areas and disciplines’ in Motorsport.
PSRX Volkswagen Motorsport was founded two years ago and won during the 2017 and 2018 season 19 events out of 24. Johan Kristoffersson won back-to-back World titles in the drivers’ championship while the team won two titles in the teams’ championship.
“It’s really sad, but the declining numbers of teams in the series makes it impossible for us to remain for 2019,” said Team principal Pernilla Solberg. “In the past two years the competition in WRX between the cars from Audi, Ford, Peugeot and Volkswagen has been huge, resulting in fantastic sport with close racing between some of the most famous drivers in motorsport,” added Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “Unfortunately, with the exit of three works or works-supported teams from World RX, the situation has changed dramatically. Together with PSRX and Volkswagen Sweden, we had to re-evaluate the involvement in the championship. We certainly didn’t take the decision lightly, but we came to a mutual agreement not to continue in WRX in 2019 as there is huge uncertainty regarding the entries and the competition for next season. Naturally, Volkswagen Motorsport will keep a close eye on any developments towards the electrification of the sport of Rallycross. From the beginning we have been supporters of this initiative and we continue to be interested.”
FIA World Rallycross Championship promotor IMG’s Paul Bellamy (Senior Vice President Motorsports and World RX Managing Director at IMG) commented on the news: “Going into 2019, there is now a wide open field and a huge opportunity for existing and new teams to step up to the podium in one of the most exciting motorsports championships there is. We have a lot of young, talented drivers coming through and are in ongoing discussions with a number of new teams looking to enter the series, especially now that we’ve made the championship more affordable and competitive with 10 rounds. We remain in continuous discussions with a number of manufacturers, including Volkswagen, as we move towards an electric series with the FIA in 2021.”