World Rallycross ace Andreas Bakkerud will make his debut in the Andros Trophy ice racing series next weekend in Andorra.
The former OlsbergsMSE and Hoonigan driver will race a Renault Captur for the DA Racing team, alongside fellow World RX driver and double Andros Trophy champion Jean-Baptiste Dubourg.
The squad revealed the new Captur last month, which in the hands of Dubourg won on its debut weekend in Val Thoren a week ago. Bakkerud will drive the car used so far this season in the Elite Pro category by Andrea Dubourg and Nicolas Prost.
Said Bakkerud: “It’s a championship that I’ve been looking at doing for many years but never really had the time or possibility to do it. Snow and ice are typical Scandinavian conditions, but I have never been the totally sideways type of driver, so for sure there will be a lot for me to learn.”
The winner of six World RX events was left without a drive in the series following the withdrawal of Ken Block’s Ford-backed Hoonigan Racing Division team at the end of this season. However, the Norwegian has revealed that he is closing on a deal to remain in the championship next season.
“We have had a super-busy month working with getting the details in place for a contract for the new WRX season,” he said, “but we have had to make time for that of course. You need to have some fun while working hard also, and this [competing in Trophy Andros] is just a pure fun project. My first test in the car will be at the race on Friday.
“I have absolutely no expectation for results, but if I can be a better driver from it and learn something as well as having a great time it’ll be just perfect for me. A big thanks to JB Dubourg and DA Racing for the chance to finally take part in this legendary race series that so many well-known drivers have done before me.”
Dubourg, who finished on the podium at the French round of World RX in 2015, is looking forward to working with Bakkerud.
“I’m very happy and eager to welcome Andreas. He is a passionate and talented driver,” he commented. “It will be a lot of fun to help him discover the magic of the Andros Trophy and I have no doubt that he will have a lot of fun and that he will impress.”