Nelson Piquet Jr. on his rallycross return in TitansRX

Nelson Piquet Jr. will make his rallycross comeback at this weekend’s TitansRX season opener at Essay in France, marking the first time he has competed in the discipline since 2016.

The Brazilian has raced in various forms of motorsport throughout his career, including Formula 1, NASCAR, sports cars, and Formula E, where he was the inaugural series champion.

He first raced in rallycross in 2013, where he was one of a handful of local drivers to appear at X Games Brazil, which was a part of the now-defunct Global Rallycross series. He remained in the US-based series for the following three seasons, twice being a championship contender and winning the Washington DC round in 2015.

„I’ll always have great memories of my first Global Rallycross win,“ he said of the triumph at the RFK Stadium (below). „We had finished quite a few times on the podium so to get that win was a great feeling. Also, finishing on the podium at X Games in Austin was a very cool experience.“

Since leaving GRC after a partial campaign in 2016, Piquet has competed mainly in Europe and in his native Brazil, but TitansRX gives him an opportunity to once again experience rallycross.

„I’m always looking out for exciting racing opportunities and this looks like it’s going to be a competitive, fun series to race in,“ he said. „I’ve had a very diverse career, from single seaters to rallycross and NASCAR to sportscars; I love every form of racing and rallycross is a really exciting kind of category to drive.“

„I’m looking forward to getting on track in a couple of weeks time,“ he added. „I’ve always raced in a variety of categories and I’m used to jumping in a new or different piece of machinery and getting to grips with it straight away.“

Piquet will race in most rounds of the 2019 campaign, skipping Montalegre and the season finale at the Estering, where he will be replaced by fellow-F1 and Le Mans veteran Alex Wurz. With two events, and four races, not being part of his plans, a championship challenge is unlikely, but Piquet is planning to take each race at it comes and enjoy his time in the driver-focussed championship.

„We’ll just take it like any other championship, event by event,“ he said. „I’m sharing the car this season with Alex Wurz so we’ll both be putting in every effort for the team. It’s going to be a pretty level playing field, which is always fun.“

With the vast majority of his rallycross career taking place in the US, most of the tracks Piquet will race on in TitansRX will be new to him. He did however make a one-off RX Lites Cup appearance at Lydden Hill in 2014, so there will be some familiar surroundings when the series heads to the UK for its second event next month.

„I’ve participated at Lydden Hill before so that will be familiar to me, and then I always look forward to competing at new tracks in whatever kind of racing I am doing as I tend to be able to dial into new tracks quickly,“ he said. „It promises to be a really exciting year.“

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