Silverstone is Britain’s home of motorsport, hosting the likes of Formula 1, MotoGP, WEC… well now you can add Rallycross to that list.
Since the FIA World Rallycross Championship began in 2014, Lydden Hill has hosted the British round of the championship but for 2018, it’ll be at the British Grand Prix venue.
“I understand why they want to bring it to Silverstone,” ex-WRC driver Mikko Hirvonen told us. “When you go somewhere in the UK and talk about having a race somewhere, everyone knows Silverstone straight away. So it’s a cool place to have a track.”
The course lies in the middle of the Grand Prix circuit and uses parts of the Stowe circuit used for F1 testing and track days but as this is the rallycross, it also features plenty of off-roading and, of course, a jump.
I was in the passenger seat of a World RX Renault Clio Supercar driven by Guerlain Chicherit, who next year will compete in the series in a Prodrive-built Renault Megane.
Guerlain wasn’t able to go full whack with the launch, as he explained to me the stress on the engine of a proper launch requires it to be changed after every round of the championship.
Which leads me onto arguably the most impressive fact about this championship. These cars accelerate faster than an F1 car. Yes, seriously. 0-60 mph takes a ridiculous 1.9 seconds.
Despite our apparently ‘tame’ launch (which still felt like someone just hit the hyperspace button) the strain on the car was still apparent, as we had to be towed back to the Silverstone Wing due to the Clio Supercar breaking down. Oops.
Still, it lasted long enough to experience what is arguably the most entertaining form of motorsport on the planet.
It’s not just the racing that will provide the entertainment either. Next year’s World RX round at Silverstone is just one part of the SpeedMachine festival (25-27 May) which also includes live music, gaming, street food and Drift, F1 and Rally Group B demos.
Count us in.