Into the unknown - World RX at the Estering

As my third motorsport event of the year, I decided to try something in complete difference to the races I visited before. With absolutely no previous knowledge about any kind of rallying, I went to Round 7 of the World RX championship on the 19th of August 2023. Rallycross hosts their race weekends on permanent tracks. They consist of a mixture of tarmac and dirt sectors and are about 1 km long. Up to five cars will be on the course at a time, completing a small number of laps. The narrow tracks allow lots of contact between the cars and challenge the drivers with their bumps and dirt sections to lots of sliding and jumping. World RX is a FIA World Championship since 204 and evolved out of a previous European Championship.

The track for the weekend was the Estering in Buxtehude, a small city close to the second-biggest city in Germany and my hometown, Hamburg. The track returned to the WRX calendar after being part of it between the years 2014 and 2019. It consists of 60% tarmac and 40% dirt, and the highest speed to reach is about 180km/h. On the Saturday I was able to witness the RX2e, Euro RX1 and the Euro RX3 classes.


It was very interesting to expose myself to a totally new class of motor racing, with different types of cars and different style of driving. The Estering is a really cosy venue and creates a family feel. Lost of people brought their own camping chairs to watch the race from the surrounding grass hills. I also encountered a lot more other amateur photographers than on the previous events. This could have been due to the perfect conditions for beginners. The fencing around the track was surprisingly low, and I was therefore able to take my first photos without needing to operate around a fence. The ticket prices were also really affordable. I paid 15 Euros with a student discount.

Because of the low fencing and my developing skills I was able to take a lot of nice pictures that Saturday. The spot for the best pictures was obviously one of the gravel parts of the track. That part was also built as a hill which made the cars jump and ended as a corner in which the drivers had to drift. This created lots of flying gravel and dust for movement in the images. The downside of the flying stones and the low fencing was however that you had to duck from time to time trying not to get hit by the debris.  The dust was also soiling my camera lens and gave the photos a washed out look. I was luckily able to correct that effect during the editing process.

All in all, the Saturday was a very nice and also encouraging experience. I was able to recognise the progress I had made over my last motorsport weekends in terms of planning my day, finding the best spots and knowing how to frame my shots. This weekend gave me the confidence for the next and my biggest motorsport event of 2023, when I would return to Zandvoort for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.