Höljesbanan

Höljesbanan, also known as Höljes Motorstadion, is a rallycross circuit situated in the village of Höljes, in the Finnskogen ('Finnwoods') of the Swedish county Värmland, beside the river Klarälven and close to the Norwegian border. The circuit opened in February 1976 and is one of the most famous rallycross circuits in the world. Traditionally held over the first weekend of July the venue plays host to the so-called 'Magic Weekend' of rallycross when it runs the Swedish round of the European and World Rallycross championships.

Höljesbanan
"The Home of Swedish Rallycross"
Höljesbanan.png
LocationHöljes, Värmland, Sweden
Time zoneUTC+1
Coordinates60°55′01″N 12°33′18″E / 60.917°N 12.555°E / 60.917; 12.555
CapacityUnlimited (Record: 45 100)
FIA Grade6R (Rallycross)
OperatorFinnskoga Motorklubb
Opened1976
Major eventsEuro RX of Sweden (1991, 1993, 1997, 1999–present)
World RX of Sweden (2014–present)
SurfaceAsphalt (60%)
Gravel (40%)
Length1.19 km (0.73 mi)

HistoryEdit

 
The first corner on the circuit
 
The split for the regular and joker laps at the start of the circuit
 
The joker lap exit
 
The Velodrome corner at the far end of the circuit
 
The infamous Höljes jump is one of the most iconic images in Rallycross...
 
...and has retained its character despite changing from gravel to tarmac after 1991
 
The final corner. The VIP marquee is seen on the left, and the grid is on the right just out of shot

The circuit was originally part of a go-kart centre opened in 1972 by the Finnskoga Motorklubb following the influx of Swedish drivers into Formula One, but quickly fell into disuse and it was decided the nearby gravel pit was to be turned into a rallycross circuit in October 1974. On February 1, 1976, the circuit held its first event in front of 3,500 people on a bitterly cold winters' day, and was won by Per Eklund.[1]

The circuit was successful locally and the Finnskoga Masters was created as a marquee event for Scandinavian drivers. The circuit saw very little national action as the Swedish ASN were not on good terms with the Finnskoga Motorklubb, and despite having a suitable venue the Svenska Bilsportförbundet (SBF) did not straight away recommend the circuits' addition to the FIA European Rallycross Championship due to the conflict. However, the circuit did eventually make its international debut for the Swedish round of the 1991 European Rallycross Championship. The event was held on July 7 in front of 15,000 people and quickly gained approval from drivers and fans alike. The Swedish round rotated through various circuits in the 1990s but the Höljesbanan became a permanent fixture in 1999 and is now a marquee event within it and the newly formed World Championship.[2]

Event historyEdit

European rallycrossEdit

European Championship winners[3]
Year Division Driver Car
1991 Division 1   Kenneth Hansen Ford Sierra RS 500 Cosworth
Division 2   Will Gollop MG Metro 6R4 BiTurbo
1992 Not Held
1993 Division 1   Eivind Opland Nissan Sunny GTI-R
Division 2   Kenneth Hansen Citroën ZX T16 4x4
1400cc Cup   Björn Ohlsson Citroën AX Sport
1994 Not Held
1995
1996
1997 Division 1   Ludvig Hunsbedt Ford Escort RS 2000 T16 4x4
Division 2   Eivind Opland Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III
1400cc Cup   Roger Lagergren Peugeot 205 Rallye
1998 Not Held
1999 Division 1   Ludvig Hunsbedt Ford Escort RS 2000 T16 4x4
Division 2   Gert Vestergaard Peugeot 306 S16
1400cc Cup   Peter Nielsen Rover Metro GTi
2000 Division 1   Kenneth Hansen Citroën Xsara WRC
Division 2   Magnus Hansen Citroën Xsara VTS
1400cc Cup   Sven Seeliger Citroën AX GTi
2001 Division 1   Kenneth Hansen Citroën Xsara WRC
Division 2   Magnus Hansen Citroën Xsara VTS
Division 2A   Sven Seeliger Citroën AX GTi
2002 Division 1   Kenneth Hansen Citroën Xsara WRC
Division 2   Jouko Kallio Honda Civic Type R
Division 2A   Aleš Zázvorka Volkswagen Polo 1.4 16V
2003 Division 1   Kenneth Hansen Citroën Xsara T16 4x4
Division 1A   Jaroslav Kalný Peugeot 206
Division 2   Guttorm Lindefjell Opel Astra OPC
2004 Division 1   Sverre Isachsen Ford Focus T16 4x4
Division 1A   Ron Snoeck SEAT Ibiza
Division 2   Jussi Pinomäki Renault Clio RSR
2005 Division 1   Michael Jernberg Ford Focus T16 4x4
Division 1A   Zdeněk Čermák Škoda Fabia
Division 2   Niklas Hagström Honda Civic Type R
2006 Division 1   Sverre Isachsen Ford Focus T16 4x4
Division 1A   Jaroslav Kalný Peugeot 206
Division 2   Niklas Hagström Honda Civic Type R
2007 Division 1   Lars Larsson Škoda Fabia 6Y T16 4x4
Division 1A   Michaël de Keersmaecker Opel Corsa C
Division 2   Niklas Hagström Honda Civic Type R
RX Cup   Jos Sterkens Ford Fiesta RWD
2008 Division 1   Marcus Grönholm Ford Fiesta ST
Division 1A   Jussi Pinomäki Renault Clio
Division 2   Tomáš Kotek Honda Civic Type R
RX Cup   Per Niklas Lööv Citroën Xsara RWD
2009 Division 1   Stig-Olov Walfridsson Renault Clio T16 4x4
Division 1A   Timur Timerzyanov Renault Clio Mk2
Division 2   Knut Ove Børseth Ford Fiesta ST RWD
2010 Division 1   Sverre Isachsen Ford Focus ST
Division 1A   Timur Timerzyanov Renault Clio Mk2
Division 2   Lars Øivind Enerberg Ford Fiesta ST RWD
2011 Supercars   Tanner Foust Ford Fiesta T16 4x4
Super1600   Krzysztof Skorupski Volkswagen Polo 9N3
TouringCar   Lars Øivind Enerberg Ford Fiesta ST RWD
2012 Supercars   Timur Timerzyanov Citroën DS3 T16 4x4
Super1600   Ulrik Linnemann Peugeot 207
TouringCar   Robin Larsson Škoda Fabia 6Y RWD
Junior Cup   Kevin Hansen "Citroën DS3" JRX
2013 Supercars   Andreas Bakkerud Citroën DS3
Super1600   Ulrik Linnemann Peugeot 207
TouringCar   Derek Tohill Ford Fiesta RWD
Junior Cup   Kevin Hansen "Citroën DS3" JRX
2014 Super1600   Sergey Zagumennov Škoda Fabia 5J
TouringCar   Tom Daniel Tånevik Mazda RX-8
2015 Super1600   Jānis Baumanis Renault Twingo Mk2
TouringCar   Fredrik Salsten Citroën DS3 RWD
2016 Supercars   Kevin Hansen Peugeot 208
Super1600   Ulrik Linnemann Peugeot 208
TouringCar   Ben-Philip Gundersen Ford Fiesta ST RWD
2017 Supercar   Anton Marklund Volkswagen Polo R Mk5
Super1600   Artis Baumanis Škoda Fabia

World rallycrossEdit

Year Division Driver Car
2014 Supercars   Mattias Ekström Audi S1
2015 Supercars   Mattias Ekström Audi S1
2016 Supercars   Andreas Bakkerud Ford Focus RS
RX Lites   Simon Olofsson "Ford Fiesta" RX2
2017 Supercars   Johan Kristoffersson Volkswagen Polo GTI
RX2   Dan Rooke "Ford Fiesta" RX2

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "History (in Swedish)". Finnskoga Motorklubb. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Photos (in Swedish)". Finnskoga Motorklubb. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  3. ^ "ERX Event Winners". rallycross.com. Retrieved 22 June 2016.

External linksEdit