The winter season in Ischgl has started! On 26 November 2022, perfect piste conditions, sunshine…
After a legendary alpine skiing career that saw him win two Olympic gold medals, five World Championship titles, and two overall World Cup titles, Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal will swap his skis for four wheels when he makes his rallycross debut on home soil at the iconic Hell venue next weekend.
Svindal’s brilliance on the slopes made him an all-time great thanks to his stunning success across 17 seasons with nine World Cup discipline titles, 36 wins, and 80 podiums added to his other major accolades.
Svindal is no stranger to breaking records either as the only man to secure three major global downhill titles, while his Olympic gold at Pyeongchang in South Korea in 2018 made him the oldest winner at the age of 35.
He remained competitive right up to his retirement following the 2019 FIS World Championships in Åre, Sweden where he bowed out in style with downhill silver, missing gold by just two hundredths-of-a-second.
Having switched to motorsport in the Porsche Sprint Challenge Scandinavia this year – stunning observers by winning on his debut and currently occupying fifth in the standings – he is now ready for a one-off outing in the all-electric, single-spec FIA RX2e Championship series.
Featuring under the FIA World Rallycross Championship – which will similarly go fully electric this year, beginning in Hell – RX2e is a fiercely-contested category in which competitors duel doorhandle-to-doorhandle in identical cars producing 250kW (335bhp) of power and up to 510Nm of torque, with a number of other parameters prioritising driver skill.
Svindal sampled the car at Spain’s Circuit Calafat last week, with guidance from Sweden’s Klara Andersson – who raced in RX2e in 2021 and will make her World Championship debut in Norway as the first permanent female entrant in World RX history – and fellow rising star Nils Andersson, who claimed his first podium place at Höljes last month.
-Keen environmentalist Svindal, 39, revealed: “Norway has always had a passion for rallycross, and now with this new era of fully electric rallycross cars, it’s the perfect fit with the EV adoption we have. To get the chance to try this car in Spain was really cool – it’s crazy fast and really fun to drive. I have big respect for rallycross drivers, because it’s a sport that is action-packed. Even if I’m only an amateur and this is just for fun, to go to Hell is something I’m really looking forward to. It’s no secret that I’m a big advocate of sustainability and innovation, and with the increasing electrification of motorsport and the incredible performance that will bring, I’m super excited to see what the future has in store.”
-Arne Dirks, Executive Director, Rallycross Promoter GmbH, said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming such a pure, dyed-in-the-wool racer and sporting icon as Aksel to the World RX family in Hell. He is a world-class athlete from a completely different sport, but whose skillset, commitment and lightning-fast reactions should equip him well to tackle the various challenges he will face in RX2e. We can’t wait to see how he gets on.”
Header image: Aksel Lund Svindal performs at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre, Sweden on February 6, 2019.