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It all comes down to this...

This is it. After six events and 10 rounds of racing, Nitrocross will crown its 2023-24 champion on the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday night.

Four drivers remain in contention for the headline Group E title, but that’s not all. A clutch of high-profile newcomers are joining the series, while an expanded support bill will make this the biggest event in Nitrocross history.

There’s plenty of intrigue, so let’s take a look at the biggest talking points going into the weekend:

The Venue

The Las Vegas strip is one of the most iconic locations in the world, and we’re racing right by it on an all-new, unique course.

Specially constructed for this weekend right by the pitlane of last year’s Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, the Nitrodome at Planet Hollywood will feature more asphalt than any other track this season. That’ll make it one of the fastest tracks we’ve ever raced on, but don’t worry, we’ve definitely not forgotten the dirt.

Four loose surface sections will feature on the 0.8-mile course, including the first heavy breaking zone and the 100-foot gap jump which completes the lap.

The Contenders

More than 100 points are up for grabs in Vegas, but that's not everything – drivers have to drop one score from the season, too, adding another layer of intrigue. All this means is four drivers remain in contention for the title.

Reigning champion Robin Larsson leads the way and naturally heads into the finale weekend as the favorite. He holds a 23-point lead at the moment, which grows to 34 when his and nearest challenger Kevin Eriksson’s lowest scores so far are wiped away.

Chasing, Eriksson led the points until Glen Helen in December, but has been in the thick of the fight without claiming an event win all season. Larsson, meanwhile, has three.

Fraser McConnell sits third with two victories to his name this season. Before dropped scores are factored in, he's 66 points off the points lead, making him something of an outsider going into this weekend. 

Another outsider, but still mathematically in contention, is Andreas Bakkeurd. Bakkerud was also a contender going into the final weekend of last season, but unlike that campaign, he heads into finals weekend without a win to his name after what has been an uncharacteristically tricky season for the Norwegian.

The Wildcards

While a lot of the focus will be on the battle for the championship, there will also be eyes on the three drivers joining the field for the first time this season.

Headlining the co-called wildcards is Timmy Hansen. While new to Group E, Hansen is by no means a newcomer to Nitrocross. In fact, he’s something of a Hall of Famer in these parts, having won the very first Nitrocross title at the 2018 Nitro World Games. He last raced in the series in 2021, when he won in Utah and at The FIRM – a track with somewhat similar characteristics to what we’ll have in Vegas. If his stellar resume wasn’t enough to convince you he will be a contender, that certainly will be.

Also joining the field will be Guillaume de Ridder, who will be partnering fellow Belgian Viktor Vranckx in an expanded VMV Racing lineup, which is set to continue past Vegas into next season.

De Ridder is no stranger to Nitrocross either, having worked in an engineering role with Vranckx and Olsbergs MSE in the past. He also has fantastic on-track pedigree, too, with the 2021 RX2e championship crown to his name – a title won by Vranckx the year after, making the whole VMV Team a dangerous proposition going forward.

The final driver joining the European invasion in Las Vegas is Patrick O’Donovan, who will be joining the returning Oliver Bennett at an all-British XITE Energy Racing lineup. 

O’Donovan crosses the pond with an impressive track record – two British Rallycross titles, as well as wins in RX2e, and World and European Rallycross. More recently he’s also served as a reserve driver in Extreme E, working alongside many of the top names from Nitrocross.

The Supporting Cast

The headline Group E category won’t be the only attraction in Las Vegas. Nitrocross NEXT, two Side-by-Side categories, and the ever-popular Baja Bugs will all feature on the bill as well.

Casper Jansson leads the NEXT standings off the back of five consecutive points-paying wins. Jimmy Hanserson is second, not just chasing the title, but his first win of the year, too, while Lane Vacala also remains in contention after beginning the year with three consecutive victories.

SxS title chasers Kainan Baker and Tyler Remmereid will also be featuring in the new SxS PRO category alongside star names such as RJ and Ronnie Anderson, John Holtger, and Jeb Bootle.

And finally, UFC stars Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Sean Strickland will face off in the Baja Bugs in a field that will also feature regulars Blake Wilkey, Jim Jork, and Kyle Zirkus.


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