The RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires – formerly known as RX Lites Cup, a one-make feeder series to World RX – was launched at Autosport International Show at the NEC in Birmingham earlier today.

RX2 cars are identical 310bhp, mid-engined, four-wheel drive cars designed by Olsbergs MSE and produced in Turkey in co-operation with Avitas Motorsport. Featuring strictly controlled spec vehicles, the series is designed to provide an affordable platform to showcase the talent of emerging young drivers.

Cooper Tire Europe has signed as the sponsor and official tyre supplier of the RX2 International Series. As the sole tyre supplier, all drivers in the series will be on high-performance Cooper rallycross tyres, which are supplied to both the World RX and RX2 teams.

Throughout 2017, the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires will host seven rounds across three continents, two of which to be held outside of Europe:

Belgium – Mettet – 13/14 May
Great Britain – Lydden Hill – 27/28 May
Norway – Hell – 10/11 June
Sweden – Holjes – 1/2 July
Canada – Trois-Rivieres – 5/6 August
France – Loheac – 2/3 September
South Africa – Cape Town – 11/12 November

Past RX2 champions include Kevin Eriksson, Kevin Hansen and Cyril Raymond, all of whom have gone on to drive Supercars, winning races in both the European and World RX classes.

Sarah McRoberts, Marketing Communications Manager for Cooper Tire Europe, said: “It’s important to us to assist drivers coming up through the ranks, as well as those in the top-flight World Rallycross category. RX2 is now a clear stepping stone to World RX. We are delighted to be sponsor of the series, which puts the Cooper Tires brand on the podium, on all the cars, and all of the drivers’ suits.”

Paul Bellamy, World RX Managing Director for IMG, concluded: “We decided to rebrand RX2 at the end of 2016 season to bring it more in line with the World Championship. This year we are making it a truly international series by including rounds in Europe, North America and Africa. In 2015, we witnessed Kevin Hansen winning the RX2 series and the following year he stepped up to Supercar and won the FIA European Rallycross Championship which just goes to prove that it is the perfect platform for young drivers to hone their talent before moving up to compete on the world stage.”