This is something that we, Latvian auto racing fans and those working in the tourism industry, are not just waiting for impatiently, but also have deservedly earned. We have excellent racers (the 19-year-old Reinis Nitišs finished 3rd at the FIA World Rallycross Championship last year!), and a sports base that we will be happy to adapt to the championship’s needs.
The organiser of the Latvian event, RA Events, and IMG, the organiser of the Monster Energy FIA World Rallycross Championship, have concluded a long-term agreement which stipulates that the championship in Latvia will be held annually from 2016 to 2018.
The Latvia event of the World Rallycross Championship will be held in August/September 2016 at the Biķernieki National Sports Base in Riga, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the sports complex next year.
The history of the racetrack goes back almost fifty years to the opening ceremony in 1966. These days, Biķernieki is also home to a lot of other sports, including drag racing, drifting, kart racing, speedway, motoball, skijoring, running, Nordic walking and others.
Latvian Minister of Transport Anrijs Matīss commented: "Rallycross is a new challenge – and presents new opportunities – to both the Biķernieki Sports Base as well as to Riga and Latvia. The government of Latvia has given the project the green light. In supporting the construction of the rallycross track, we took into consideration that, just as 50 years ago, we have people who are devoted to their cause and will do whatever it takes to implement their ideas. I promise, on behalf of myself and the organisers of the event, that next year Riga will host an outstanding rallycross event, with tough competition, for which Latvian racers will be preparing with all their heart to not let their fans down."
The internationally-acclaimed company Apex Circuit Design is assisting Biķernieki in adapting the racetrack to the specifications and requirements of FIA. The company has designed several racetracks, including the Hockenheimring in Germany and Franciacorta circuit in Italy, as well as the Formula 1 racetrack in Sepang (Malaysia).
The Biķernieki Sports Base is to eventually have a circuit of 1,290 metres where, according to the International Automobile Federation’s rules, 60% of the circuit will be asphalt and 40% gravel. The counterclockwise circuit will have 8 left and 4 right turns. The circuit will have three jumps, two of which will be parallel to each other – both on the main route and in the joker lap, which will give the Biķernieki rallycross circuit a unique flair and set it apart from other championship venues.