Latvian capital Riga to join World Rallycross schedule in 2016

The Bikernieki National Sports Base in Latvia's capital city, Riga, will host a round of the World Rallycross Championship from 2016 as part of a multi-year deal

Latvian capital Riga to join World Rallycross schedule in 2016

The new rallycross venue, which is located just 15 minutes from the city centre, was announced during a press conference on Thursday.

The Bikernieki circuit was built in 1966, but will be revamped to include a new rallycross layout for the 2016 event, which will include three jumps.

The event has attracted support from the Latvian government.

"Rallycross brings a new challenge and opportunity for Bikernieki National Sports Base, Riga and Latvia," said Latvia's Transport Minister, Anrijs Matiss.

"The Latvian Government has given the green light to this project.

"We promise to do our best to ensure that Riga will host a fantastic event with thrilling battles, and that Latvian drivers will do their best to show their pace on home soil for the very first time."

Latvian Ford OlsbergsMSE driver Reinis Nitiss, who won the Norwegian round of World RX last season, holds celebrity status in his home country.

Countryman Janis Baumanis made his Supercar debut at the Motorsport News World RX of Great Britian at Lydden Hill in May, and will race in two more World RX events this season as the Super1600 driver targets a full-time Supercar drive in 2016.

The Latvian event will be the eighth new rallycross venue that IMG has introduced since becoming promoter of sport's highest level in 2013.

"It's very fitting that next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Bikernieki track," said Latvia's Transport Minister, Anrijs Matiss.

"And what better way to celebrate the occasion than by bringing World RX to Riga."


Four-time WTCC champion Yvan Muller joins World Rallycross field

Former Subaru WRC driver Chris Atkinson eyeing switch to World RX