Karlsson First Female World Rallycross Entry
Swedish female driver Ramona Karlsson has confirmed she will compete in a minimum of seven rounds in the all-new FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.
She will compete at the wheel of a Per Eklund Motorsport-run Saab 93 Supercar.
Karlsson began her racing career at the age of 12, winning the Swedish Crosskart Championship twice. In 2000, she competed in her first rally and in 2012 contested six PWRC rounds in what was the championship’s first all-female team. Last year, Karlsson was named the Swedish rally driver of the year following another successful season in rallying.
Henning Solberg – who is the elder brother of full-time World RX driver Petter – will join Karlsson in the two-car team. The Saab 93 Supercars will be the only Saab models in this year’s World Championship, and will join a plethora of other marques such as Citroen, Audi, Skoda and Renault competing alongside official manufacturer backed entries in World RX including Peugeot, Ford and Volkswagen.
“It feels great to be working with Per Eklund – one of Sweden’s top racing drivers,” explained 33-year-old Karlsson. “The team has a lot of experience and the Supercar class is where the most extreme rallycross cars are so I’m excited to be involved. I’m obviously looking to fight with the top drivers and it’s good that I’m able to score both Euro RX and World RX points this year. I can’t wait to get the season underway in Portugal.”
“It’s really exciting to have Ramona in our team this year,” team owner Per Eklund said. “She’s already proved how quick she is in a rally car and now rallycross is her next challenge. We’ve previously invested in young Finland’s Topi Heikkinen when he was new in rallycross – and now look where he is. Ramona is the first female in World RX and it will be interesting to follow her development this year.”
Martin Anayi, Managing Director of the FIA World Rallycross Championship for IMG Motorsport – a division of IMG, the global sport, fashion, and media company – spoke postively following the latest signings by Per Eklund Motorsport.
“Adding Ramona and Henning to our driver line-up in 2014 is more fantastic news for our Championship,” said Anayi. “With the opening round in Portugal just over a month away, all the teams are now in their final preparations for what is expected to be an extremely competitive year of racing ahead. Ramona is a very talented driver and of course it’s encouraging to have another car marque in the form of Saab on the grid. I’m also pleased to hear that Henning will join us again this year, he is one of the most technically astute drivers out there and of course it will be interesting to watch the sibling rivalry between himself and Petter.”
Karlsson will begin her 2014 campaign at the season-opening World RX of Portugal in Montalegre, which takes place from May 3-4.