Chris 'ready to go again' and rallycross

Torbay Weekly

Chris Wheeler is all set for an exciting year ahead after confirming that he will commit to a second season in Rallycross, rather than returning to stage rallying.

The Torbay-based driver has registered for the 2022 BTRDA Clubman’s Championship and will challenge for honours in the Super Modified class in a Citroen DS3 R3T that he is converting from rally spec.

Chris switched sports from rallying to Rallycross at the beginning of 2021, making his debut at Lydden Hill last May. Taking on a ‘pick and choose’ campaign of three rounds, he made good progress at every meeting, getting used to the twin challenges of racing side by side with other competitors and dealing with the sudden surface changes from asphalt to gravel on each lap.

He finished the season on a high when he took his first-ever heat win at Blyton, Lincolnshire in September.

“Last year was very much a ‘dipping toes in the water’ season,” he said. “We discovered that Rallycross was great fun and extremely friendly, while being very close and competitive. We learned a lot in our first year and we are ready to go again with a new car and in a new class.”

Last year, Chris used a Ford Fiesta Mk7 which he converted from stage rallying spec. By removing all unnecessary equipment ,he lightened the car by more than 50kg in order to contest the championship’s Modified class. However, in 2022 he has turned to the potent 1.6-litre, turbocharged Citroen DS3 that he has driven to numerous asphalt rallying successes.

“We are going down the same ‘make it light and reliable’ route with the Citroen as we did with the Fiesta” Chris explained. “We have ditched about 80 kg of weight by removing all the co-driver’s equipment, fitting plastic windows instead of glass and replacing some of the steel body panels with glass fibre. We know the engine is extremely reliable so we have not touched it except to give it a thorough service.”

Chris will begin his BTRDA championship challenge on March 27th at Blyton.