Aksel Lund Svindal is well known for his achievements in skiing, having won two gold medals at the Winter Olympics and five FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships. Since retiring from the sport he has turned his attention to motor racing and on August 13-14 he will show off his driving skills in his home country by entering the FIA RX2e Championship round in hell, Norway. This will be his first foray into rallycross.

“I have great respect for rallycross drivers because it’s an action-packed sport,” Svindal said. “There’s so much going on, and when you get out in the car for the first time, it’s definitely a handful but it handles very well. As Norwegians, we know the acceleration of electric cars, and the acceleration and handling of the RX2e car on such rough surfaces is very impressive.

“Even though I’m just an amateur and just for fun, going to hell and seeing it all up close and joining the action is something I look forward to. It’s no secret for no one that I’m a big proponent of sustainability and innovation, and with the increasing electrification of motorsport and the incredible performance that will come with it, I’m super excited to see what the future holds.

The Round of Hell, held in Lankebanen, is the second of the 2022 RX2e season. To prepare for the start, he tested an RX2e car on the Calafat circuit in Catalonia with Clara Anderson and the unrelated Nils Anderson as mentors.

Although he stepped up his racing career after quitting skiing in 2018, Svindal already had previous motorsport experience when he competed in the Audi Sport TT Cupof the 2015 Red Bull Ring round. His opponents in the event included fellow skiers Felix Neureuther and Marcel Hirscher, while Svindal’s No. 96 was also raced by ski veterans Jon Olsson and Sven Hannawald during the season.

Now that he has more time to pursue racing, Svindal became a Porsche brand ambassador in 2019 and, three years later, joined the Porsche Sprint Challenge Scandinavia. Representing Porsche Experience Racing alongside fellow Norwegian skier Ingemar Stenmark, he won the season opener at Anderstorp Raceway in May and is currently fifth in points.

In January, Svindal and Stenmark took part in the race of champions‘ celebrity race in Sweden, where they took on fellow skier Anja Pärson and tennis star Jonas Björkman. Svindal held Stenmark by 0.8 seconds to win. Although the celebrity competition used Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars, the main Race of Champions featured RX2e vehicles.

The 39-year-old is one of a handful of Olympic medalists who can also boast racing on their resume, particularly in FIA-sanctioned championships. For example, reigning Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah won the 2012 bronze medal in clay pigeon shooting. FIA World Rallycross alumnus Guerlain Chicherit is also a quadruple freeride ski world champion.

“We are thrilled to welcome such a pure and dyed-in-the-wool racer and sports icon as Aksel to the World RX family in Hell,” commented the executive director of Rallycross Promoter GmbH Arne Dirk. “He’s a world-class athlete from a completely different sport, but one whose skills, commitment and lightning-fast reactions should equip him well for the various challenges he’ll face in RX2e. We can’t wait. to see how he does next weekend.

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