XITE RACING LOOKING TO EXPAND FOR 2019
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Xite Racing is hoping to build on a strong first season in the FIA World Rallycross Championship by expanding its armory for 2019.
Together with Britain’s Oliver Bennett, Xite Racing competed in nine World RX rounds this season with its Mini Cooper S Supercar and scored points four times. Bennett also raced the car in three rounds of Americas Rallycross. For 2019, the team is looking to expand its program, either by adding a second car to its World RX lineup or running a driver in the FIA European Rallycross Championship.
“We’re looking at all options. For 2019, with more focus on privateers it made sense for us to open up our expertise to other younger drivers wanting to get into the scene. We have the World RX Fiesta I drove in the British Rallycross Championship, which is a really strong car for Euro RX and would suit someone like an RX2 driver looking to move up to Supercar, or likewise we showed last winter that we can build a car under pressure, so if anyone was looking to make the move to World RX then there’s that option too,” said Bennett. “We are also talking to a number of teams, new and old, where we feel we could benefit from a mutual partnership to help with things like logistics.”
Bennett is in favour of the 2019 World RX season being held over 10 rounds, starting in Abu Dhabi in April and finishing in South Africa in November. “It’s tough for a team like ours to run privately and attend all of the events. With it now being 10 events means we are likely to be a full-time entrant for 2019. Previously I would have been setting my aim for a semi-final in a good number of rounds based on our Q4 pace this year, but now with a reduction in factory teams I might set my sights a little higher – I don’t see any reason we couldn’t make a final in 2019 with the right determination and work ethic,” he said.
Looking back at his first season in World RX, only his second year as a rallycross driver, Bennett marks racing France’s Sebastien Loeb as a highlight. “We decided in November 2017 we were going to build this new Mini and four months later we were on the grid in Barcelona with drivers I had looked up to from a young age. The main thing was learning the tracks for me but a few aspects really stick with me from the year, from my first qualifier win in Loheac to tagging onto the back of Sebastien Loeb for a race in Holjes. And of course the engagement of the crowds for the Mini was crazy! I can’t say there’s an event I’m not looking forward to returning to next year, I just wish it would come sooner!”