Scheider replaces Meeke for Nitro Rallycross finale

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Scheider replaces Meeke for Nitro Rallycross finale

International Racing

Scheider replaces Meeke for Nitro Rallycross finale


Two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider will race for XITE Energy Racing in the final three rounds of the Nitro Rallycross season after Kris Meeke was ruled out through injury.

Meeke took to social media to confirm that he’d be out after fracturing his back in a skiing accident.

Meeke was due to battle this weekend in the series finale of Nitro Rallycross However, we are saddened to report that Kris has been involved in a ski accident and unfortunately won’t be able to make the race in LA,” the  XITE team announced via Instagram. “Huge loss and we send our best wishes to Kris for a speedy recovery.”

Meeke was originally only set to contest rounds outside North America for XITE, but following Jenson Button’s departure from the team after a tough start to his rallycross career, the Northern Irishman took the seat on a full-time basis.

He rewarded the team with a third placed finish — the team’s first top-three result in the category — in the second half of the Phoenix doubleheader in November, but now his season has been brought to a premature end.

By replacing Meeke, Scheider will be making his debut in the U.S.-based series but he is no stranger to rallycross, having competed in the world championship regularly since 2015.

“I’ve been following Nitro since it started and I’ve been in the U.S. with my family for a long time now so I’m taking a closer look at this,” Scheider told RACER. “I’m feeling sorry for Kris, I hope he has a speedy recovery.

“But I will take the chance, of course! It’s the season finale, it’s a tripleheader, I’ve no clue about the car, no clue about Glen Helen, but of course I’m looking forward because most of the guys I know well and I still love rallycross and I still have to analyze the Nitro format a bit but as far as I understand, it will be super-fun.”

Scheider’s debut in Nitro RX marks a return to the XITE Energy fold for the Miami resident, too. Scheider replaced team founder Oliver Bennett in the team’s Extreme E driver lineup last year and immediately helped it to its first international podium across all categories in the first Island X Prix in Sardinia.

“It was a pretty cool call yesterday from Oli and getting XITE racing back into my mind,” Scheider said. “We know each other from World Rallycross and we know each other from Extreme E and when I got the message asking if I was free next week, I just double-checked my calendar — I was coming home for three days and then I will fly straight from Miami to LA.

“I will love to take the chance and it was pretty cool that Oli thought of me after Kris unfortunately can’t compete. I want to enjoy the experience, I want to be there and to show people that it could be fun to work with me,” he added, hinting at an interest in further Nitro RX outings in the future.

Nitro Rallycross’ Glen Helen finale will take the form of a tripleheader, with the series keen to retain a 10-round championship calendar following the cancellation of the Finland, Saudi Arabia, and Calgary rounds.

The visit to Finland was scrapped after the venue, the KymiRing, wasn’t ready in time, while the Middle East jaunt was initially postponed and then called off entirely due to logistical issues. The Calgary round did take place, but with unusually high temperatures necessitating a format change, its championship status was removed.