Britain’s Oliver Bennett has announced that he will compete as a permanent entrant in the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.
The XITE Racing driver, who made his World RX debut at Lydden Hill in 2017, competed in all but three rounds in last year’s world championship as he split his focus with the inaugural Americas Rallycross Championship. 2019 will be the first full season for Bennett in the World Championship.
“It is nice to finally be in a position where we can commit to the full series and now points at every round will really count,” said the 26-year-old. “It’s nice to move up another step this season from our trial last year. This season is looking great, especially as a private team with a levelling of competition. The battle between the privateer teams should be intense and a little different from a series dominated by manufacturers. I’m really XITE’d!”
Bennett will begin testing with the XITE Racing Mini Cooper SX1 this week and is confident of improvements made over the winter break. “We start testing on the 8th February, which is the main test with our major improvements and then we will evaluate, and make changes that we need to make towards the end of February. After that our engines are shipped off to France for a refresh ready to head to Abu Dhabi for the first round in April.”
The Bristolian will compete in front of his home fans at the unique SpeedMachine Festival at Silverstone at the end of May. “I can’t wait for Silverstone and the home fans, I wasn’t happy with my performance there in 2018 World RX as we had some really difficult car issues that weekend but SpeedMachine was one of the best organised events I have been to,” Bennett said.
“The amount of activities going on was crazy alongside some really good food stands which is sometimes missing in RX paddocks for the fans. The music was a nice experience for the teams too. It meant we could all get together and have some fun downtime. At the end of the day that’s what rallycross is all about.”
Bennett has also launched a fan competition to design his 2019 livery. More information can be found here.