State-owned rallycross track opens

Latvia's roads may sometimes be lacking in quality but that's not the case at a brand new international-class rallycross track that opened Thursday at the Bikernieki motorsport complex in Riga. 

The world standard rallycross track at the sports complex Bikernieki has returned the complex to the international rallycross arena in a new and far higher quality, officials said today during the rallycross track's opening ceremony.

Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis, who attended the launch of the new facility said that the track had previously experienced financial difficulties, but the situation changed substantially with the right owner - the state-owned Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD).

The upgraded Bikernieki race track has put Latvia back on the global rallycross map, Kucinskis said.

"I expect that, thanks to the new track, the world will learn not only about Latvia and Riga, but also Bikernieki. Creating the right facilities for our athletes will allow them to be the best in their sport, and that's the case here," Kucinskis said.

For those not familiar with rallycross, it is a motorsport conducted on a special track involving sections of asphalt and gravel.

Head of CSDD Andris Lukstins said that it had not been easy to build the rallycross track, because they had a limited time frame - four and a half months, which was successfully accomplished in cooperation with the construction company Binders.

The race track is 1.29 kilometers long, including a section of 'dirt surface' more than 500 meters long.

The so-called dirt surface consists of a mixture of minerals and cement, and this section is meant to create a dust cloud and have a decreased tire adhesion with the surface.

In early October a World Rallycross Championship leg will be held in Bikernieki, and before that, on July 24, the second leg of the NEZ Rallycross Championship will take place there, featuring Latvia's Janis Baumanis and Reinis Nitiss.

The CSDD held an open competition for the construction of Bikernieki sports complex race track's section, which was won by the road construction company Binders.

The total contract price was €1.8 million

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