Hansen Happy, Solberg Slips

by Hal Ridge |

It was a frantic afternoon at Lydden Hill, with day one of the FIA European Rallycross Championship being condensed into six hours due to time restrictions at the Kent circuit.

Happiest team in the paddock is Hansen Motorsport, their three drivers in Supercar holding the top three positions overnight. Making his fulltime debut in rallycross, Timmy Hansen was fastest twice to seal top spot, ahead of Timur Timerzyanov and Alexander Hvaal.

It wasn’t so easy for all though, as Petter Solberg found out at the start of heat one. Clutch problems caused him to jump the start, followed by stalling the car on the restart and then forgetting to take the joker. He compounded his issues by clouting the barrier between the jokerlap and the main circuit, damaging the rear of the car.

Winning the second heat went some way to making up for lost time in a car that was by no means perfect. “The second race was better, but we still had all the issues from heat one, I just managed them better. The rear of the car was still damaged, we didn’t have time to fix it. I’m pretty disappointed but that’s life.” Said Solberg.

Knut Ove Borseth was in the wars too, loosing the power steering on his Skoda Fabia II in the first heat. With no time to fix the issues with the tight timetable the Norwegian returnee had to make do in the second heat. “I am finished!” he said. “The guys can fix it tonight no problem, which is good because I can’t drive the car like that any more!”

Peter Hedstrom retired from heat two with driveline issues, the same problems that befell him in heat one, where he set only 16th fastest time. Andreas Bakkerud was another to have a series of problems, and lies 17th overnight. Tanner Foust had a puncture on his Ford Fiesta in heat one, but was second fastest in the second heat and will now face the challenge of getting as far up the leaderboard as he can before the semi-finals.

Henning Solberg won his race in heat one, setting forth fastest time. The older of the two Solberg brothers was less lucky in the second heat, a spin in the joker lap was followed by a sensor failure causing him to stop before the end of the race.

Stig-Olav Walfridson failed to take the start of heat two, his Renault Clio remaining zipped up in the awning, despite finishing the first heat seemingly without drama.

In Super1600 the star of the show was debutant Kevin Eriksson, who was second fastest in heat one, but fastest of all in heat two, beating heat one time topper Eric Faren in his race to cap it off. Ulrik Linnemann was the big casualty of Super1600, the Dane got a good start in heat two but hit a water container on the inside of the corner, forcing his Peuegot 207 into the line of the traffic behind. The car was heavily damaged, giving his team some hard work to do overnight. Christian Petrakovits blew the engine in his VW Polo in practice and won’t be seen again this weekend.

TouringCar didn’t fail to entertain with some quality racing. Derek Tohill didn’t have a good time of things however. “They held us on the line for ages in the first heat, so that wrecked the clutch. We changed it for the second heat but then in race two I only have ¼ movement in the throttle pedal. The car will be right for tomorrow but consistency will be key to the championship this year so this is a real blow.” He said.

Volvo C30 driver Daniel Lund crashed on the loose section at the end of the lap in heat one and failed to reappear for heat two. The car is now fixed and he will return tomorrow morning.

Heat three starts at 10.15 tomorrow morning.


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