Why the switch to the FIA Rallycross (RX) Championship this season?
I started my career in rallycross and I’ve always loved this side of the sport. I could have carried on in the World Rally Championship, but it wouldn’t have been the way I wanted to do it.
No regrets about WRC then?
No. I’m the guy who is always looking forward. I love the World Rally Championship and have had some incredible times in the sport and possibly I will again.
So the WRC door’s not closed?
No, we never close the door. You don’t know what might be around the next corner, but right now, I am focused 100 per cent on RX. I have a great team and fantastic sponsors and this is what I’m working on.
You had other options in motorsport for 2013, though?
I did. I had lots of contact with circuit racing teams for World Touring Car Championship, Le Mans and some others. But rallycross is the one for me.
Because I can see the future for this side of the sport. I have spoken with the guys from IMG (RX promoter) and when they are talking about live television coverage from five rounds, that’s very impressive. They have a lot of great ideas and plans for how they can make this sport really big and I believe them. They are like me, you know, they are doing everything flat-out. And, we shouldn’t forget, that there will be some incredible racing in the RX series this year.
And we shouldn’t forget the car…
Definitely not! The car is just awesome. I just drove it for the first time and I can’t believe the power, it’s fantastic. And the noise it makes is incredible. My team has done an amazing job to get everything ready; we have all been working for 17 hours every day to make sure the car and everything else is ready for the first round. I also have to thank Julian Godfrey in England, who has made the engine – he has done a fantastic job.
What’s possible this year?
Well, the first thing that we have to do is to make a show and give everybody a big smile on their faces when they come to watch the races. And the second thing we have to do is win. I always want to win.
You haven’t raced in rallycross since 1996, does that concern you?
Not at all. I can’t wait to get out there with the guys again. All of those cars and all of that noise and horsepower is going to be fantastic.
So, Hollywood, do you have a message for your fans?
Yes! Firstly, thank you for all of your support for so many years and second, I hope to see you at RX rounds this year; come with me, we’re going to have some amazing flat-out fun this season!